Presidential Election in Egypt: Limits of the Reform Process

The recent battle for presidential elections in Egypt reflects the importance of public demand for political reform. The amendment of article 76 of the Egyptian Constitution allowed for the first time several candidates to run for the election, each on his political platform, thus opening the door to a genuine electoral process. Many different forces were present in the political arena. This opened the prospect - albeit a theoretical and remote one for now - for the establishment of a new republic in Egypt based on democracy and respect for human rights. Yet this change revealed the realities of the Egyptian political scene. The old inert parties were opposed to new, more dynamic ones, whose composition and action is driven by the issue of reform. It also revealed that the amendment of article 76 is only one step on the road to more far reaching changes needed in Egypt.

The views represented in this paper are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Arab Reform Initiative, its staff, or its board.