On Egypt's social democrats
Warigia Bowman of Democratizing Egypt is launching a series of interviews with Egyptian politicians. She started off with Samer Soliman, an AUC professor who co-founded the Social Democratic Party. The interview is mostly personal, but here's an excerpt on Soliman's views of the emerging political spectrum:
The new parties in Egypt are emerging along an entire political spectrum. Some liberal parties exist. The Free Egyptians by Sawiris. The El Adl justice party is very wealthy, somewhat right wing. It is supported by big businessmen. The poor at this moment, and the lower middle classes do not have good representation. Al Ikhwan [The Muslim Brotherhood] represents them to a certain extent, but it is a right wing party. Our party, the Social Democratic Party, is on the center left. The Socialist coalition is a promising party. It has new blood. I am not sure if it is capable of getting 5000 signatures, but they have a fighting spirit.
In a sense almost every new party in Egypt incorporates some social-democratic ideas, it's the new consensus. Parties for which it is a primary identity will have to devise means to communicate their difference to the electorate.
We hope to be doing similar interviews ourselves in the next few weeks. Stay tuned.