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Will Egypt succeed in creating a sustainable democracy?

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Will Egypt succeed in creating a sustainable democracy?

Alex Helling's picture
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Joined: 13 Sep 2011
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Egypt is going to the polls today in its first round of presidential elections. The elections are historic as this will be the first time the Egyptian people have elected their leader in the country’s 5000 year long recorded history.  

The leading candidates in the elections are; Amr Moussa former foreign minister and secretary-general of the Arab League, Hamdeen Sabbahi a Nasserist, socialist and populist, Mohammed Morsi an engineering professor who is the choice of the Muslim Brotherhood, and Abdulmoneim Aboul Fotouh who used to be a member of the Muslim Brotherhood but walked away when his attempts to modernize the movement were defeated. The military’s candidate Ahmed Shafiq, an air force general, is unlikely to win due to his ties with Mubarak having been briefly Prime Minister when Mubarak was forced to appoint on.

It is likely that there will be no outright winner in this first round which will therefore result in a run-off vote on the 16th and 17th June. This in itself shows the immense progress in Egypt. However the elections are for a position for which we do not know what the powers and responsibilities will be because the constitution will be. This could have an immense impact on the sustainability of attempts to create democracy in Egypt.

Again this debatabase debate is a little old and could use some updating if anyone wants to have a go? This House believes the Arab Spring revolutions can create stable democracies.

http://lynch.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/05/22/egypts_brilliant_mistakes

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-18167224

2 years 26 weeks ago
KateDebate's picture
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Joined: 27 Mar 2012
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Everybody in every country should have a chance to take part in elections to improve their country. Elections in Egypt show that there is hope for a better future in the Middle East. Not having the constitution yet defined may even be a good thing as this means the holder of the office will be able to help craft the powers of the institution that will be so important to Egypt in the future.

2 years 26 weeks ago
booji's picture
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I have to admit to being pessimistic. On the one hand I am hopeful that Egypt will end up with a better government than it has had before so the outcome will be a good thing. What I am less hopeful about is that Egypt will succeed in creating a stable democracy immediately. It seems much more likely that the country will lurch backwards and forwards on the issue, sometimes having elections and at other times the army clamping down. Most emerging democracies are unstable and it would be surprising if Egypt managed to make the transition in one bound. The fact that the powers of the president have not yet been set are in this regard troubling... it would seem likely that either the powers will be too sweeping or if the new president is disliked by the army or parliament will not be powerful enough to resist other institutions.

Thailand is a good example of a democracy that we thought was reasonably entrenched and yet rapidly went backwards during the late 00's. see http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/05/22/bangkok_blues

2 years 26 weeks ago
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