Egypt Keeps New Parties on Short Leash

By Dan Murphy writer of The Christian Science Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, October 21, 2004 | Go to article overview

Egypt Keeps New Parties on Short Leash


Dan Murphy writer of The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


It's another Wednesday night in Cairo's poor Bab Al-Sharaya neighborhood and legislator Ayman Nour is leading one of his weekly party meetings, where Egypt's old-style culture of political patronage and the yearnings for democracy of a shrinking middle class collide.

Hundreds of poor constituents press up to Mr. Nour's elegant wife, Gameela, seeking help navigating Egypt's Kafkaesque bureaucracy, assistance in land disputes, or simply a little money.

Later, on the stage of a converted wedding hall, Nour delivers a rousing political speech, dismissing the government as outdated and repressive, punctuated by occasional shouts of assent from some 300 supporters.

It's precisely the sort of political ferment that President George W. Bush had in mind when he said the invasion of Iraq would serve as a "dramatic and inspiring example of freedom" to the region. His vision was for democratic change in an Arab world hamstrung by decades of authoritarian rule that has damaged its economies and helped Islamic militancy to flourish.

But despite Nour's credentials as a member of Parliament, and the fact that his weekly meetings have yet to be stopped by the government, the Ghad Party operates in a legal limbo. Earlier this month, his and three other parties failed to win official approval for their organizations, making it illegal for them to attempt to widen their support before elections scheduled for next October.

"We've been promised legal status for a long time - but they never deliver,'' says Nour, who was originally elected to parliament as a member of Egypt's opposition WAFD Party, but was later kicked out of WAFD for criticizing its leadership. He remains in Parliament as an independent, since his new party is not recognized. "I'm extending my parliamentary immunity as far as a I can to allow us to operate, but as things stand we can't build the opposition Egypt needs. Egypt's politics are stagnant, and that's why the country is in so much trouble."

Over the past few years, there's been an unprecedented level of talk about reform in Egypt and other Arab allies of the US such as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. But that talk has translated into little action, with strict limits on political activity in almost all Arab countries.

Last week Saudi Arabia, which is planning its first-ever national elections next year for posts in its largely ceremonial municipal councils, said that women would not be allowed to vote. Even in countries that have held relatively free parliamentary elections, like Kuwait last year, there have been no real gains for the forces of reform. There, gerrymandering and strong support for Islamist candidates reduced the number of legislators who support a Western- style democracy.

But it is in Egypt, the sleeping giant of the region, where the hope for change was perhaps greatest. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Egypt Keeps New Parties on Short Leash
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.