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.


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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