Links 3 November 2010

  • And he's already calling for a boycott!
    Since there aren't many links today, one might pause on this news, which officially shows what everyone expected anyway. I think it's a little strange of ElBaradei to come out with such a statement before the campaign to collect signatures in his favor is over, and without a real attempt by that campaign to get him on the ballot by judicial appeal or by trying to get the people who signed the petition to get out onto the street. This might simply be another sign of a badly-run campaign, or simply that ElBaradei himself is getting tired of the whole thing and never had the energy in him to campaign seriously. Another possibility seems more likely for now: that this was a slip, and that the ElBaradei factor in 2011 is still an unknown. But it's got to be pretty dispiriting for his supporters to have their leader not stay on message. Even if all he can do is launch a boycott campaign next year, ElBaradei has got to show more enthusiasm, nerve and daring-do about it.
  • English website's Egypt election page
  • Bishara says in Algiers that Arab states run by "cartels".
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Issandr El Amrani

Issandr El Amrani is a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest-running blog in the region, www.arabist.net.