The NDP is dead, long live in the NDP

My friend Nabil Shawkat, translator, columnist and satirist extraordinaire, has this piece in Ahram Online on the ghost of the NDP still lingering and the new Suleiman regime being very much old school:

Mubarak is now out of the picture, perhaps by orders of his vice president. He is not going to be part of the future of this country. He will either leave Egypt in an “honourable” way, or just be pushed to the back to sign papers and rolled out on occasion to repeat a few well-rehearsed phrases. Mubarak is no more. His son is no more. His party is no more. But the spirit of his rule, the essence of his regime, and the methods of his era are far from over.

It is dangerous to kill a ruling party, because like the hydra of lore, ruling parties have many heads, far-reaching tentacles, and very deep pockets. I know the army has denounced any connection with the pro-Mubarak marauders, but the repudiation is far from being completely sincere. Only yesterday I walked by a security truck near the Italian Club in Bulak, north of Tahrir Square. Inside it, a plainclothes official was organising a small mob to attack or harass a certain person. I heard the order given while I was passing by, so I looked at the license plates. Sure enough, they were army plates.

For the past few days, the army was accusing unnamed people of wearing its uniforms to spread chaos. Perhaps this was a stolen army vehicle. But then again, perhaps it wasn’t.

Also turn to Ahram for the best reporting — for over a decade — on Egypt's ruling party, by Gamal Essam Eddin. Based on what I was able to gather on the new composition of the NDP, here's a quickly updated chart:

 

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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.