Egypt’s Unchallenged Dictatorship

It is dismaying that so little international pressure is being exerted on President Mubarak to hold free and fair elections as Egypt heads into a year of important votes. Parliamentary elections will be held in the autumn of 2010 and Presidential elections in 2011. But, as the Shoura Council elections a few weeks ago emphasised, the elections will very, very likely not be open or fair (Mubarak’s party won 74 of 88 seats for the Shoura Council).

A number of good articles have been published over the last few weeks criticising Obama’s lack of action: See here for an example (Washington Post) and here (Time).

It’s hard to see how things will change unless the US takes a firm stand (the US is Egypt’s most important ally and source of $1.3 billion in annual military aid). But wherever the pressure comes from — internally or externally — the people of Egypt will never have the government they truly want (whether Muslim Brotherhood or another type) unless they are given free access to the polls.

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About Dr Rebecca Wright

I am a criminal barrister and the Director of The Schools Consent Project, North West. I previously worked as a human rights lawyer in the Middle East and Afghanistan for 6 years and as a US corporate lawyer for a year. I have a PhD in literature (which looked at the autobiographies written by suffragettes). I taught literature in San Diego after I finished the PhD and before I went to law school in the US. I also drove buses part time for 10 years.
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