Friday, July 01, 2005

"Democracy" in Egypt

Last month, a referendum in Egypt approved constitutional changes allowing competitive elections for the presidency. This has been held up by the right as shining example of the Middle East moving towards democracy, but the reality is rather different. There are substantial barriers to impede opposition candidates - every candidate must effectively be nominated by a large number of legislators or local officials, all of whom are members of the ruling party. And now, it seems that any opposition candidate who even tries to register for the poll will be arrested and put on trial on trumped-up charges using "evidence" coerced by threatening witnesses' families.

Some "democracy"...