Egypt enters electoral mode

I am pessimistic about Egypt's forthcoming elections, mostly because I don't think they have been seriously prepared for, notably in comparison to Tunisia's. In an op-ed that should come out today or tomorrow (it's now out), I will explain why exactly. Ideally, the elections should be postponed and a civilian authority take over immediately, but that's not in the cards. So the best scenario forward is for these elections — despite them being already flawed — go forward and the new parliament unite around a platform of greater civilian oversight of the transition and to get SCAF out of power as soon as possible, most probably through the election of a president.

Al-Masri al-Youm today ran a bunch of stories on the contenders:

 

Major other blocs/parties should be the Salafists, al-Wafd, and NDP offshoots.

In the meantime, more worrying signs:

I don't think this necessarily means anything — at least not yet. It reminds me of the campaign for Omar Suleiman last year.

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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.