One Reason Egypt's Liberals Lose Elections

From MEI Editor's Blog Wed Dec 26 2012, 09:38:00

I plan to write at some length soon about the Egyptian Constitutional referendum, but this is an inital comment. As expected, it passed: most voters want stability and are not terribly concerned about turns of phrase in a constitution. Turnout was low, opposition high in Cairo and major cities, but Upper Egypt carried the day. Like other countries I could name (I live in one), the views of urban elites are often not very compatible with those of the less urban hinterland. In a democracy, though, winning candidates need to appeal to a broad spectrum of opinion. You do not say to the voters what you may say to your inside-the-Beltway drinking buddies. Not if you want to win.

Now, Mohamed ElBaradei is an extremely popular Egyptian liberal among Western journalists and some of the intelligentsia, though he has spent more of his time abroad than in Egypt for decades: he's a key figure in the liberal (not the revolutionary) secular side. Days before the second round of the referendum, thed former IAEA head tweeted:

The Arabic goes a bit beyond the English, indicating that poverty and illiteracy create fertile soil for trading in religion.

[view whole blog post ]
 See More    |     Report Abuse

You might also be interested in the following news stories:

East Africa:   Morocco Lobbies East Africa for Re-Entry Into AU (news)
The East African
22 October 2016

King Mohammed VI of Morocco visited Rwanda this week as part of his aggressive diplomatic push to be readmitted to the African Union (AU), 32 years after it withdrew from membership of the continental ... [read more]

Uganda:   New Guidelines Set for Lower Courts (news)
The Independent
24 October 2016

Chief Justice Bart Katureebe has launched new sentencing guidelines for lower courts in a move aimed at ensuring uniformity in judgment, and building public trust. Principal Judge Yorokamu Bamwine, ... [read more]

South Africa:   Ruling Party 'Worse' Than Apartheid State - Top Official (analysis)
Daily Maverick
24 October 2016

It has finally happened. ANC Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu has started the pushback within the ANC that has been missing while the uproar in society grows about President Jacob Zuma's leadership and the ... [read more]

blogAfrica is's platform to help you keep an ear on the African blogosphere. We draw diverse voices from around the world who post regularly and insightfully about African issues. Bloggers, submit your blog's rss-feed!