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Rantings of a Sandmonkey

Be forewarned: The writer of this blog is an extremely cynical, snarky, pro-US, secular, libertarian, disgruntled sandmonkey. If this is your cup of tea, please enjoy your stay here. If not, please sod off

Monday, March 14, 2005

Ayman Al Nour Released

This is kinda dated, i know, but they have finally released Ayman Al Nour on bail. But that is not all. He is also planning to run for president in the next Presidential elections. Check it out: Nur, who heads the Al Ghad (Tomorrow) party, walked with his relatives and supporters from the police station to the nearby Bab Al Sharia neighborhood, a constituency he represents in parliament and where he received a hero's welcome. "We love you, president!" chanted dozens of his supporters who greeted him upon his return to his bastion. Nur refused to don his habitual jacket upon his release and symbolically undertook his freedom march still wearing his white prison suit. In the first issue of his party's weekly newspaper, which is also called Al Ghad and hit the newsstands on March 9, Nur announced his intention to run in this year's presidential elections. Nur's 45-day preventive detention period was due to expire in two days but the official MENA news agency suggested that the release was moved forward after a parliamentary Euro-Mediterranean delegation currently in Cairo planned to mention the jailed politician's case in a statement. "The Euro-Mediterranean parliamentary assembly's committee on policy, security and human rights accepted to remove a clause demanding the Egyptian authorities reconsider the imprisonment of Ayman [Al] Nur in its draft statement on the progress of human rights and democracy in Mediterranean countries," the agency said. Add to that the pressure from the Bush adminstration and you can see why they finally let him out. Now, as the article mentions, some people see him as the symbol of the young guard and reform movement in Egypt, and by others as an opportunist with no genuine commitment to democratic values. I fall in the first group, My own Mother falls in the second group. She has met the man on several occasions, but she is also a big Mubarak supporter, which makes us both kinda biased on the topic. Oh well! I am happy that he is out personally, altough i don't believe he will win the next elections; not because he isn't popular enough, but because the game is rigged to begin with. Not only does Mubarak have all the state-owned newspapers and TV channel as his own forum in the coming elections, the government has announced that it closed the door for voter registration conincidently just days before the Mubarak call for constitutional reform. The way the game is played seems to be like this: they registerd a couple of million voters from their people, and won't allow anyone else to register. Come the next elections, Mubarak gets a huge percentage of the registerd voters and wins in a democratic fashion. End of story! 6 more years of Mubarak fun. This is why almost everyone- including the opposition parties- is talking about the next election-the one in 6 years- as Egypt's first real democratic elections. This one is in the bag already, unless they allow people to register to vote again, but that's highly unlikely. Mubarak just wants the appearance of a democratic election, but he has no interest in a real one, cause he knows he would lose.


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