Egyptian Parliamentary Elections 2005

I have previously written how Gwyn Dyer has characterized the Egyptian Presidential Elections as a Cynical Farce. Now, the third phase of the Egyptian Parliamentary Elections for 2005 has closed, and similarly it is a cynical farce too.

Although the opposition made significant gains, it is not as great as what can be if the elections were really free. The offically banned Muslim Brotherhood gained a relatively big 76 seats.

The usual official inimidation and exclusion marred this election, just like the last ones. Sometimes, riot police are deployed, and on other occassions, it is gangs of thugs. They both prevent voters from reaching the polling station. Mass detentions of opposition candidate and supporters, mainly from the brotherhood, also serve the "intimidate and exclude" modus operandi.

Another trick was to make the election in three phases/stages, and adjust the intimidation/exclusion for the upcoming phase based on the results from the previous ones. The official line is that there are not enough judges to oversee the elections. In reality, some judges have been victims of beatings themeselves!

What I admired was the resourcefulness of some villagers, who used ladders at the back of the polling station to let people in, first over the wall, and then through the bathroom window. The police discovered this literal back door, and dismantled the ladders.

If this shows anything, it shows that political apathy and fear are slowly dying in Egypt, and that there is hope for change.