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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

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Egypt's turn

It seems that the great pharaoh of Egypt, Mubarak, decided to wait till i was out of the country to deliver what is probably one of the most unexpected announcments this election year: He wants people to actually run against him. President Hosni Mubarak's call for Egypt's people to elect their head of state from a list of candidates has delivered a "democratic electric shock" to the country that he has ruled for four straight terms. His proposal in a speech on Saturday for parliament to pass a constitutional amendment to allow multi-candidate direct presidential polls took Egyptians by surprise, not least because it was kept under wraps until the last minute. Let me explain. In order to run for president in egypt, two-thirds of the parliment has to approve of you. Since its majorly Mubarak's people, no one ever had a chance to even run against him. Now, if this goes through, they can. The funniest part for me was the audience reaction to the announcment The audience of elected officials in his home region of Manufieh, in northern Egypt, were so taken aback that they hesitated before bursting into applause for the presidential initiative. I bet in their mind they were like :"Should we applaud? would he regard it as applauding a chance to get rid of him? But if we don't applause we would disrespect him. ####, what am i gonna do? i will just applaud and hope for the best!" Mubarak's announcement, welcomed by the opposition as a first step, comes amid US pressure on Egypt to accelerate democratic reform and follows months of unprecedented protests against Mubarak being elected to a fifth six-year term. Yeah, no ####. everyone has had enough of him, you know? Let's just hope if this goes through no Bullshit takes place in the voting polls. Washington has "urged Egypt to broaden the base of political participation", said State Department spokesman Steven Pike. "This appears to be a step in the direction of a more open political system and we welcome it." US President George W. Bush, at the start of February, issued a rare rebuke to Cairo, one of Washington's closest allies in the Middle East, urging the Mubarak government to quicken democratic reforms."The great and proud nation of Egypt, which showed the way toward peace in the Middle East, can now show the way toward democracy in the Middle East," he added in his State of the Union address. This wouldn't have happened with any other president. If Al Gore or JFK2 had won, there would be no pressure on Egypt to reform at all. But thanks to G. Dub's steely resolve and him showing that puts his money where his mouth is, things are changing in the middle- east and in the country. I repeat, this wouldn't even happen if it was anyone else in the chair of the american presidency. And people over here wonder why i like and support G.W.Bush. sigh


At 3/01/2005 04:05:00 PM, Blogger Kat said...

Hey..hope you had a great trip. We kept waiting to hear your reaction. Your friend GM from Pharoah's land was much more cautious.

Frankly, I think this is still very limited. Correct me if I'm wrong, but won't the political parties still have to be "legalized" in order to put up a candidate?

Aren't most of the "legal" parties kind of wimpy?

I mean, I really don't expect that a Muslim brotherhood candidate is going to make it through the process (not that that's a bad thing), but I wonder if any of the parties will be strengthened enough to make a real run for it?

At 3/01/2005 06:34:00 PM, Blogger Tina said...

Freedom is contagious. It won't matter what was intended, by the time elections roll around there will be candidates. I only hope there are some good, honest people who love Egypt and want freedom for the people.

I must have checked this blog 6 times a day hoping you'd comment. I couldn't wait to hear what you think.

At 3/01/2005 07:28:00 PM, Blogger WakkaJewbacca said...

Could it be, a lasting peace in the Middle East. The region is swirling with possiblities these days. With the prospect of a Syrian withdrawl from Lebanon, a possibility of a lasting peace in Israeli/Palestinian Conflict, some sort of peace in Iraq, and now a more democratic Egypt, things could be shaping up for that part of the world. Glad to hear your mom is well. Please shoot me an email at myfirstname@mylastname.com.

At 3/01/2005 08:18:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If all the good stuff happens when your gone, you'll just have to come back to the US soon, and that's all there is to it.

Delighted to hear that your mom's doing so well.


At 3/02/2005 12:23:00 PM, Blogger The Sandmonkey said...

Hey Kat (again),
yioua re killing me with the good questions, let me try and answer you.
I agree with you that it's all very limited, not to mention it's not even formalized as a law yet. The beauty of this move that it requires the parliment to vote on it. it is very likely that a lot of mubarak cronies in the aprliment would vote against it in a show of "loyalty to our great leader".
But yeah, other political parties would have to be legalized and the majority of the legal parties are kinda wimpy.However, it doesn;t mean they won;t run. People can always run as independents, which is the muslim bortherhood's way of running and they will run.
But i guess my answer is, who knows?
It's way to early to tell how it will turn out and if it will even pass in the parliment. But we already have 3 people who have nomintaed themselves, so maybe more will. And maybe Hez al ghad will jump in the game and avnege Ayman Nour's honor or something. It's way too early to judge this thing simply because it was never done before.

So, for now, i chose to be happy with the announcment and hope for the best, even though i probably know better.

PS: Tina,sorry for the delayed response. i don;t have my own computer. i have to use the one in the cyber cafe and there is only one.:/

At 3/02/2005 04:32:00 PM, Blogger Kat said...

First things first...dude, invest in a laptop. LOL

Secondly, thanks for answering my question. I didn't think about the independent issue and that is important.

But, like you, I'm just hanging to see what happens. Since the announcement there has been little other news about how it's going to shake out or who is doing what.

Glad to hear about your mom by the way. She's still on the prayer list.

At 3/02/2005 07:43:00 PM, Blogger Josie said...

Yay! Sam's blogging again. :)


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