The Arabist

The Arabist

By Issandr El Amrani and friends.

Makram Ebeid's Op-ed

Mona Makram Ebeid, a former Egyptian MP turned leading opposition figure, had penned a new editorial for the Daily Star. She reviews the unwillingness of her country's ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) to move ahead with even limited political decompression. It's all worthwhile, but I am a big taken aback by the following paragraph:

Among those who expressed their most vociferous criticism were individuals seeking to establish new political parties. During its 23-year existence, the governmental Parties Committee has systematically refused all requests submitted to it (except one) to legalize parties. All other legalized parties since 1990 owe their existence to the State Council, which though bounded by a restrictive law, has tended to interpret it more broadly than the Parties Committee, which remains a mere puppet in the hands of the executive branch. Most significantly, one party, Hizb al-Ghad (The Party of Tomorrow), whose guiding principles are liberty, democracy and respect for fundamental freedoms and the rule of law, has watched its appeal to be licensed, which it lodged with the State Council, adjourned for the third time. The irony is that the adjournment coincided with the ringing call by the NDP to widen political participation!

The part that's highlighted above about the Hizb Al-Ghad struck me because at no point does Makram Ebeid tell us that she is a leader of that party, and nor does her biographical information at the bottom of the editorial. I'm all for attacking the NDP, but the Daily Star should know better than to provide her a platform for her own political propaganda without saying who she is. Indeed, that might be a better way to promote her party.