Saturday, March 27, 2010

Living in the future, Egyptian politics section


Steven A. Cook writing in Foreign Policy [thanks to Arabist.net]:

Perhaps more important was the return to Egypt in February of Mohamed ElBaradei, the former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), after a 12-year absence. ...Foreign news outlets estimated that as many as one thousand Egyptians turned out to welcome him home at Cairo’s airport -- and to implore him to run for president in Egypt’s 2011 elections (a significant number given the government’s record of intimidation and violence).

...
He coyly told the Egyptian and foreign press that he would consider running if the Egyptian government enacted electoral and party reforms to ensure truly free and fair elections. At the same time, he formed a new political organization called the National Front for Change, which encompasses a broad swath of Egypt’s fractious but largely ineffective opposition movement.... The creation of the Front, along with his tantalizing public statements, only amplified the ElBaradei phenomenon. By late February, Egyptian bloggers and journalists were reporting that one thousand people were joining ElBaradei’s Facebook page every ten minutes. This story is surely apocryphal, but it is nonetheless worth noting that ElBaradei currently has 82,069 Facebook supporters, compared to [Egyptian President] Gamal Mubarak’s 6,583.


Image:ElBaradei's Facebook fan page.

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1 Comments:

Blogger STAG said...

So how's that hopey-changey thing going?

(chuckle)

Guess he saw it work in the US, and figures it will fly in Egypt!

Ah well. politics. Heinlein said it was only "barely more important than your own heartbeat".

3:15 PM  

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