The Egyptian political system has emerged sharply bipolar from recent parliamentary elections. While the ruling National Democratic Party won its expected victory, the performance of the Muslim Brotherhood surprised the NDP and the secular opposition forces. How will the Egyptian government react to the opposition’s success?
On December 13, Michele Dunne, editor of the Arab Reform Bulletin, presented a draft of her forthcoming Carnegie paper on political reform in Egypt. A roundtable discussion followed.
There is a real policy debate going on in Washington on how to tackle the participation and presence of Islamists forces in Egypt and elsewhere. The Muslim Brothers are positioning themselves within the growing reform camp in Egypt and they have a liberal democratic agenda when it comes to political reforms.
On December 2, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace sponsored a panel debate on the parliamentary elections in Egypt.
On November 12-13, The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the Italian Istituto Affari Internazionali, in partnership with the German Herbert-Quandt-Stiftung, organized a two-day workshop in Rome to discuss the policy preferences and reform strategies of non-violent Islamic movements in different Arab countries.
In Egypt’s first-ever multicandidate presidential election on September 7, opponents to President Mubarak’s regime performed poorly, and Mubarak swept the election with 88.6 percent of the vote to secure his fifth presidential term. But is this landslide victory a mandate for the ruling party’s power and policies?
Mubarak's victory represented a step toward opening up a persistently autocratic regime. It revitalized the political scene and partially minimized citizens' apathy toward politics. However, to describe the election as a historic breakthrough or as a shift toward a new pattern of state-society relationship is misleading. The election was not competitive and its conduct clearly undemocratic.