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:

Nigeria:   Generals, Senior Officers Arrested Over Boko Haram's Takeover of Baga (news)
Premium Times
30 January 2015

A Brigadier General, Enitan Ransome-Kuti, his Chief of Staff, Lieutenant Colonel G.A. Suru and some other senior officers have been arrested by the authorities of the Nigerian military over their ... [read more]

Mali/Guinea:   By the Luck of the Draw, Guinea Wins Afcon Place (news)
allAfrica.com
29 January 2015

Guinea had the luck of the draw to win a berth in the quarter-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations and will now meet Ghana in Malabo on Sunday. [read more]

Zimbabwe:   Good Harvest Fails to Dent Rising Hunger (news)
Inter Press Service
29 January 2015

With agriculture as one of the drivers of economic growth, Zimbabwe needs to invest in the livelihoods of smallholder farmers who keep the country fed, experts say. [read more]



blogAfrica is allAfrica.com'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!