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:   Buhari's Victory in Nigerian Election Has Global Significance (opinion)
The Conversation
1 April 2015

Muhammadu Buhari's convincing defeat of incumbent Goodluck Jonathan in the Nigerian presidential election is an event of global significance. To his credit, President Jonathan promptly conceded ... [read more]

Africa:   Sharing Genetic Data in Health Crises (news)
SciDev.Net
31 March 2015

Genetic information that could help slow disease outbreaks may be kept private by researchers out of fear of violating patients' rights - that was one of the concerns expressed in a Nature article ... [read more]

Kenya:   Kenyatta Asks West Not to Lie About Security Intelligence (news)
The Star
1 April 2015

President Uhuru Kenyatta has slammed foreign countries for continued issuance of advisories restricting travel to Kenya. [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!