A New Political Culture Emerges in Egypt
Hammond, Andrew, The Middle East
In the aftermath of parliamentary elections held in November of last year, Egypt's younger generation of political activists and journalists are attempting to break with the moribund political system and its leaders.
After 14 years of president Mubarak's rule, there is a feeling amongst the majority of the political and cultural intelligentsia that the experiment in democracy begun shortly before Mubarak came to power in 1981 has not gone far enough. And, further, that political institutions and leaders which should be challenging the state are incapable of doing so.
Egypt's political parties are all led by men over 60 years of age and some over 80, who tend to regard the parties they lead as personality cults. The leftist Tagammu party's Khaled Mohieddin was one of the Free Officers who helped lead Egypt from its British-influenced monarchy to the Nasserist Republic; the Wafd's Fouad Serag Eddin, is a luminary from the pre-Revolutionary Wafd party which fought the British occupiers in 1919 and instituted constitutional democracy; the Labour Party's Ibrahim Shokri is a founding member of the Young Egypt Party whose chief claim to fame is that he helped step up the fight to rid the country of the British in the 1930s, and the Liberals' Mustapha Kamal Murad is a former Nasser and Sadat confidante. Most of the parties were established with the blessing of the state which saw for them a specific use and purpose when Sadat decided to make peace with Israel.
Until recently, the elder the better was the established mechanism for change in the Muslim Brotherhood, the …
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Publication information: Article title: A New Political Culture Emerges in Egypt. Contributors: Hammond, Andrew - Author. Magazine title: The Middle East. Issue: 255 Publication date: April 1996. Page number: 5+. © 2009 IC Publications Ltd. COPYRIGHT 1996 Gale Group.
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