The Dynamics of Egypt's Elections

by Mona El-Ghobashy | published September 29, 2010

No one thinks parliamentary elections in Egypt are democratic or even semi-democratic. The elections do not determine who governs. They are not free and fair. They install a parliament with no power to check the president. The government National Democratic Party (NDP) always manufactures a whopping majority, never getting less than 70 percent of the seats. The opposition is kept on a tight leash, restrained by police intimidation, rampant fraud and severe limits on outreach to voters. And citizens know that elections are rigged, with polling places often blocked off by baton-wielding police, so few of them vote.

No wonder the reform advocate Mohamed ElBaradei and others are trying to build political and moral momentum for a boycott of the contests coming up in November. “Anyone who participates in the vote either as a candidate or a voter goes against the national will,” ElBaradei warned. [1]

And yet, both government and opposition take parliamentary elections very seriously, preparing for them months in advance. Out of eight electoral cycles since 1976, the opposition has boycotted only once, in 1990. Despite the renewed impetus for a boycott in 2010, all of the major opposition forces have announced their participation in the November poll. “We’ve tried the bitterness of boycotting in 1990, and secured only five seats in the 1995 elections,” said the Wafd Party’s new leader al-Sayyid al-Badawi, explaining his party’s decision to field 250 candidates. [2] The opposition’s choice to participate is not as odd at it seems, for Egypt’s parliamentary elections, despite their serious limitations, are not mere props or stereotypical autocratic rituals of acclamation. They are rare moments of open, if unequal political competition between parties, whose strategic interaction means that elections are far from trivial.

Curious Contests

As in its day-to-day politics, Egypt’s elections bring together two wildly mismatched players, one holding all of the state’s resources and force and the other possessing nothing more than the sympathy the public may have for the underdog. There is no uncertainty about the overall winner, but winning is not what is at stake. Since the playing field is unlevel, anything but a government victory is ruled out, so the parties use elections as means of achieving extra-electoral ends. For the regime, elections are one among several implements of rule used periodically to reestablish its domination. Campaigns are seasons for the renewal of political alliances and redistribution of economic resources to the regime’s vast pyramid of partners, agents and minions, and their respective lower-level clients.

Opposition groups enter elections not to win a majority, and certainly not to govern, but rather to build political standing. They cultivate new and old constituencies, lambaste the government and advertise their own integrity, and seek places in Parliament to counteract their exclusion from other national power structures. Given the default exclusion, to boycott Parliament would be tantamount to accepting political invisibility. Official status as MPs gives opposition members access to the state bureaucracy overseeing services to their districts and the standing to meet with foreign delegations. Most Egyptians avoid elections altogether because they can be physically dangerous or because there is nothing in it for them. But citizens’ stance toward elections is not fixed and depends on the nature of their ties to the political contestants in a given cycle: Some voters seek basic goods and services that they do not get otherwise, while others support particular candidates for ideological or kinship reasons.

The interaction between a patronage-disbursing government party, plucky opposition candidates, voters and ubiquitous police can make for high drama at the district level. A renowned case in the annals of Egyptian electoral history is al-Badari district in Asyut province in 1979. Supporters of the opposition Wafd MP Mumtaz Nassar surrounded polling centers and ringed ballot boxes, some carrying arms, to block the government’s efforts at fixing the results. [3] The most controversial events of the 2005 election occurred in Damanhour in Buhayra province, where security forces barricaded polling stations, helping the government’s candidate to beat the opposition candidate, a Muslim Brother. A legal official who monitored the vote, Nuha al-Zayni, published an account describing the forgery of the final tally. [4]

The 2005 Alarm Bell

The dynamics of an unfair race were clearest in the 2005 poll. Contesting only a third of Parliament’s 444 seats, the Muslim Brothers captured 20 percent, a fivefold increase in their representation. The Brothers’ gains upped the total proportion of opposition deputies in Parliament to 25 percent, the highest since the return of multi-party elections to Egypt in 1976. By contrast, the performance of the NDP was unimpressive. Despite the active support of the vast bureaucracy and security forces, only 145 of the 432 candidates officially fielded by the NDP won, securing 33 percent of the assembly’s seats. The NDP swiftly incorporated 166 “independents,” almost all of whom were party-affiliated but had not received the party’s nomination, enabling it to maintain the all-important two-thirds majority required to pass legislation and approve constitutional amendments.

There was no doubt that the regime would maintain control of the 2005 parliament, but it was done at high cost. Coming at the peak of President George W. Bush’s democracy promotion rhetoric, Egypt’s elections received intense attention from foreign governments, media and human rights organizations, which zeroed in on the fraud and the violence marring the vote that claimed 14 lives. “For the government it is a matter of life and death,” said analyst Dia’ Rashwan at the time. “They cannot tolerate opposition; they would do anything to stop the Brotherhood from gaining more seats, by rigging or by killing. It is a matter of pride for them.” [5]

Unexpected street battles and the final results rang alarm bells for a regime facing a crucial decision: the transfer of presidential power from the incumbent, Husni Mubarak, to a successor yet to be named. Arriving at such a delicate juncture, the election gave off several unwelcome political signals. At the level of political organization, the balloting revealed a well-endowed yet disorganized and unpopular ruling party compared to a disciplined and relatively popular Islamist movement. At the level of social mobilization, the election of 121 Islamist and non-Islamist opposition deputies indicated that segments of the population were neither disengaged nor easily bought off, the two postures encouraged by the regime. The Egyptian and international media carefully tracked the trouncing of NDP incumbents by Muslim Brother challengers, district by district, damaging the regime’s reputation for producing effortless landslides greased by copious patronage.

Five Long Years

Since the 2005 elections, Egypt has undergone several far-reaching changes in state, economy and society that have altered the strategies of the major players in the upcoming polls. Three major developments are worth noting: a chain of controversies surrounding the regime’s regional and domestic alliances; exogenous shocks to the economy; and shifts in patterns of social mobilization. These conditions are likely to structure political life after the elections.

In the intervening years between elections, the Egyptian regime has deepened its cooperation with Israel. Already in 2004, the US had brokered protocols that established qualified industrial zones for Israeli manufacturers in Egypt. In July 2005, another major economic agreement was sealed. Egypt and Israel signed a 15-year deal by which Egyptian natural gas is sold to Israel via an Egyptian-Israeli consortium at cut-rate prices. A majority share of the consortium is held by tycoon Husayn Salim, one of Husni Mubarak’s closest friends, leading to demands for accountability and a court ruling that ordered publication of the sale price. Economic collaboration was part of a package. In 2007, Mubarak participated in the failed US-Israeli covert action that aimed to oust Hamas from power in Gaza, shipping arms and offering training to the Fatah fighters whose cohorts were instead preemptively overrun by Hamas. [6]

Repeated Israeli military actions and tepid Egyptian regime responses have once again ripped the tarp from the chasm between the presidential palace and the population when it comes to the Arab-Israeli conflict. During the summer 2006 Israeli bombing of Lebanon, Mubarak denounced Israeli killing of civilians but laid the blame on Hizballah. Israel’s assault on Gaza in 2008-2009 was orchestrated with Egypt’s aid, Mubarak fearing that Israel would shunt onto Egypt the governance of the crowded coastal strip. Two days before Israel began bombing, Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni met with Mubarak in Cairo and informed him that Israel would act. [7] Throughout the Israeli offensive that led to the killing of 1,400 Palestinians, and well afterward, Mubarak aided Israel and its allies in enforcing a blockade on Gaza, refusing to open the Rafah border crossing to Palestinians or to let in international shipments of food and other humanitarian aid. In December 2009, Egypt began building a seven-mile steel wall (using American-forged steel) along its border with Gaza, in an attempt to end the underground tunnel economy that staves off social collapse in the territory. In Egypt and across the Arab world, Iran and Turkey, protesters vilified the Israeli government and Mubarak in one breath, with demonstrators in Beirut chanting, “O great people of Egypt, replace Mubarak with a donkey.” [8]

Opposition voices drew a triangle between state-business crony ties, the national resources sold to Israel and the lack of basic public services. Commenting on the spate of power cuts and water shortages over the summer, political analyst Hasan Nafa‘a summed up the prevalent sentiment: “The government sells gas to Israel from the quantities required to power Egypt’s factories and light its houses.” [9]

Corruption in high places is not news in Egypt. President Mubarak routinely proclaims anti-corruption campaigns to diffuse popular anger and polish his image as a king-like figure standing above the fray. But a sequence of events involving Mubarak’s immediate circle have brought top-tier corruption before the public eye. In 2006, an unseaworthy ferry sank in the Red Sea, drowning 1,034 of the 1,400 passengers, all of them Egyptians working in Saudi Arabia. Ferry owner Mamdouh Isma‘il, an NDP stalwart and appointee to Parliament’s upper house, was first acquitted and then sentenced to seven years in a retrial. Isma‘il fled to London after the accident and remains there. In the same year, a Health Ministry accountant accused NDP MP Hani Surour, proprietor of a medical equipment company, of supplying 300,000 contaminated blood bags to the Ministry. Surour was convicted by a lower court and acquitted on appeal. In 2007, army bulldozers moved on the lush Nile island of Qursaya to implement an executive order evicting its 5,000 farmers and fishermen. Residents launched a legal and media campaign against the eviction, targeting NDP bigwig Muhammad Abu al-‘Aynayn, who owns a villa on the island and reportedly seeks to build a tourist development there. The residents succeeded in obtaining a court ruling annulling the eviction order.

The case now dominating the headlines concerns Hisham Tal‘at Mustafa, Egypt’s wealthiest real estate mogul and a member of the upper house of Parliament and the NDP Policies Secretariat headed by Mubarak’s son Gamal. Mustafa owns a high-end development on the outskirts of the capital, modestly named Madinati (My City). On September 14, the Supreme Administrative Court scrapped the direct sale of state-owned land to Mustafa’s company in 2005, ruling that the sale unlawfully evaded the public bidding process. The case against Mustafa’s $3 billion development was brought by an engineer who sought to buy state-owned land but was turned down. Fearing adverse effects on the foreign investment it has worked so hard to lure, the government simply circumvented the ruling and reassigned the land to Mustafa’s firm in a new contract under the same terms. The public has reacted with disgust. “This is not simply a case involving a real estate project,” wrote business journalist Saad Hagras. “At its core the ruling is an indictment of a government addicted to breaking the law and working under cover of darkness.” [10] To absorb popular outrage, the government announced the creation of a new committee “setting in place the necessary foundation for the allocation of land to the various sectors and pricing them transparently and in a coordinated fashion,” said cabinet spokesman Magdi Radi. [11] It hardly helps the regime’s moral standing with the public that Mustafa has been convicted of murdering Lebanese pop singer Suzanne Tamim. His death sentence for that crime was commuted to 15 years in prison on September 28.

Between 2005 and 2010, the Egyptian economy has weathered two major blows to the state’s staple revenues: the global food crisis in 2007 and the world recession in 2008. As international trade diminished, according to Economist Intelligence Unit data, receipts from transit of the Suez Canal receipts also declined. Following the Dubai debt crisis, many Egyptians working in the Gulf returned home, reducing remittances; meanwhile, the global downturn depressed foreign direct investment, which fell from $9.5 billion in 2008 to $6.7 billion in 2009. The value of Egypt’s exports dropped by 11.8 percent in 2009. The official unemployment rate went up from 8.7 percent in 2008 to 9.4 percent in 2009, but as is well known, official rates are unreliable; the real figure is believed to be in the double digits. Inflation peaked in 2008 at 11.8 percent, triggered by the spike in commodity prices, and stood at 10.5 percent in May.

To manage the economic turbulence and pacify the domestic arena for the upcoming elections, the government has undertaken a series of infrastructure spending and other measures. Foremost is securing the food supply. In September, Minister of Trade Rashid Muhammad Rashid announced that Egypt had arranged to obtain the quantities of wheat needed to avert a rerun of bread protests in 2008. “We have also secured the funds needed to increase the budget of our subsidy, which means that at the end of the day, the Egyptian consumer and the Egyptian citizen will not feel the pain of the increase of prices globally,” Rashid said. [12] The minister also signed a free trade agreement with the South American bloc Mercosur to ensure the flow of grain and meat imports to feed the population. He said similar agreements with Russia and South Africa would be inked before the end of 2010.

After accelerating privatization of public-sector firms from 2005 to 2008, in May the government announced an indefinite postponement of the program, to stem the tide of protests triggered by unemployment and high inflation. At the same time, the Ministry of Economic Development announced an increase in the monthly minimum wage to 280 Egyptian pounds (about $49, at the official exchange rate) after a series of protests and a court ruling certified workers’ hardship claims, but no start date was specified. Finally, in early 2010, the government delayed implementation of the Property Tax Law originally passed in 2008, in response to public opposition. “If the law goes in effect,” as the Economist observed, “it will probably not be until after the presidential election in September 2011.”

In the past, election campaigns have witnessed an increased flow of petition and complaint upward, and the distribution of goods and services downward. The 2010 elections roll around at a time when citizens have not been idly waiting to vote, but have been airing their economic and political demands in daily demonstrations. The last election cycle in 2005 had energized pro-democracy protests by the Kifaya movement, as well as a series of post-election protests in the spring of 2006 to support independent judges targeted by the government for overly competent election supervision. The new dimension today is the diffusion of protests among new categories of citizens, especially the street-level bureaucrats who, as scions of the lower middle class embodied by Gamal Abdel Nasser, have constituted the social base of the Egyptian state since 1952. The great majority of protests are not the work of labor unions or political parties. Every day, newspapers report on self-organized street actions by an aggrieved sector of the population, be it downwardly mobile civil servants, North Sinai residents, auto mechanics, nurses, Copts, laid-off industrial workers, stricken rice farmers or technologically savvy young people. [13] These small-scale rallies constitute a new language of popular politics now routinely used by citizens demanding responsiveness from negligent government officials.

The spread of protest is certainly attributable to the extremely insecure livelihoods of most Egyptians, who are experiencing in their daily lives what macroeconomic restructuring means. But it also has political roots, chief among them the lack of channels at the municipal level to represent and address citizens’ concerns. This problem became clearest in 2008, when a rockslide in the crowded Duwayqa shantytown killed 119 and injured 55; an investigation found that municipal officials had ignored expert reports in 2007 and 2008 warning of an impending disaster and recommending residents’ evacuation.

It is tempting, but misguided, to read the rise of social protest as auguring the downfall of the regime. The upsurge of popular mobilization is not a revolutionary trend, but a systemic change in how citizens defend their interests in the absence of formal mechanisms of representation. For the majority of the population, with no connections to patron-client networks or other sources of power, the street has become the place to be heard. The most dramatic instance came in December 2007, when 55,000 property tax collectors across the country coordinated a work stoppage and withheld revenue collection. Thousands of the tax collectors and their families descended on central Cairo and camped out in the cold for 11 days on Husayn Higazi Street, directly facing the cabinet building. The protesters demanded wage parity with tax collectors affiliated with the Finance Ministry, who were receiving salaries ten times as high. The expertly organized strike and sit-in not only compelled the cabinet to accede to the wage demands, but also led to the bottom-up creation of the first genuinely independent workers’ union since 1957.

More recently, in the spring of 2010, journalists observed the phenomenon of citizen protests outside Parliament, where every day for several months, at least four different groups camped out simultaneously on the narrow sidewalk, demanding an audience with the MPs and ministers cloistered behind the gates. Local media highlighted protesters’ performances -- drumming, singing and chanting, mock coffins and trenches, and for the evicted residents of the Tusun neighborhood in Alexandria, a mock auction to sell off the multiple court decisions handed down in their favor, none of which have been implemented.

The citizens powering Egypt’s protest wave may have scanty records as voters, but protest politics adds a wild card to the electoral planning of the government. In July, for the first time ever, Interior Minister Habib al-‘Adli sat down with the Sinai’s Bedouin tribal leaders to organize a truce in the low-grade strife between Bedouins and police, and shortly thereafter Prime Minister Ahmad Nazif and Oil Minister Samih Fahmi announced a five-year development plan to provide jobs and services to the Sinai’s impoverished residents. Since 2004, Sinai residents have continuously protested abominable living conditions and recurrent police violence, and in June attempted to blast apart a natural gas pipeline close to the Egyptian-Israeli border, causing slight damage.

Gearing Up

Given the transformations of the past five years and the looming transfer of presidential power, Egypt’s power elite is exceptionally motivated to control the outcome of the parliamentary elections. As soon as the 2005 elections concluded, the regime began a systematic restructuring of the political arena, changing the constitution and electoral laws, weakening the Muslim Brothers and strengthening the NDP’s party organization. The aim is not just to crush the Muslim Brothers at the polls, but also to do so with finesse, in order to project anew the image of effortless government control that was so besmirched in 2005.

Three alterations in electoral procedures will further skew the playing field. First, the regime reversed the single greatest gain by the opposition since 1976: full judicial supervision of elections, a long-standing demand that became reality with a Supreme Constitutional Court ruling in 2000. The ruling led to staggering the vote over several weeks, to enable the limited number of judges to watch over the many thousands of polling stations. While judicial supervision had not completely eliminated vote rigging, it had incrementally increased public and opposition confidence in the electoral process. In 2007, the regime restored voter cynicism by amending Article 88 of the constitution, replacing monitoring by judges with oversight by an electoral commission composed of “current and former members of judicial bodies,” an amorphous category allowing the government greater leeway in selecting pliant personnel. The amended article also stipulates that voting take place on a single day, for the first time since the 1995 elections. Now the opposition cannot use the first phase to test outreach tactics and gauge voter response, an important signaling mechanism that was a byproduct of judicial supervision. A one-day vote will also stretch police forces to the limit, however, requiring them to deploy all across the country simultaneously, with less flexibility in sending reinforcements to unexpectedly hard-fought districts.

The second rule change reprises President Anwar al-Sadat’s invocation of state feminism to ornament an authoritarian maneuver. In 1979, Sadat dissolved Parliament to cleanse it of vehement opposition to his foreign policy, and called early elections under new rules that reserved 30 seats for women. The Supreme Constitutional Court struck down the women’s quota in 1986. In 2009, Gamal Mubarak’s Policies Secretariat passed through Parliament a law adding 64 new parliamentary seats reserved for women. The set-aside is due to expire after the 2010 and 2015 election cycles. NDP spokesmen billed the measure as the empowerment of women to enter national politics. The opposition called it an increase in seats for the NDP in the guise of women’s rights.

The third rule change builds in a safeguard in case the above rules fail to thwart Islamist gains. A little-noted but significant item in the raft of constitutional amendments passed in 2007 gives the president the power to dissolve Parliament without a referendum, a right he did not have before. [14] Should the 2010 Parliament ever become unruly, Mubarak or his successor can simply shut it down. Should the dismissed deputies object too vociferously, the president can simply call in the police to shut them up, for Egypt’s notorious emergency law was extended through 2012 in May.

At the same time that it was fixing the electoral framework, the regime was siphoning off the material and symbolic resources that sustain the Muslim Brothers. First, in 2007 the authorities arrested and referred to a military tribunal several leaders of the organization, most important among them Khayrat al-Shatir, a key financier and strategist. Other Brother-owned businesses were closed and their assets frozen, on charges of money laundering and attempting to revive the Brothers’ 1940s-era military wing. The Brothers’ candidates in student union elections on university campuses were also targeted, with police using the same violence against voters that they had previously reserved for national elections. Next, the 2007 constitutional amendments banned political parties based on “any religious frame of reference,” to short-circuit attempts by the Brothers to form a political party. In 2008, municipal elections that the Muslim Brothers tried to contest were summarily fixed, sealed and delivered to the NDP, without a single seat allowed the Brothers out of 52,000. The June elections for the (mostly ceremonial) upper house of Parliament were a replay of the municipal polls, and are now considered to be a dry run for the lower-house vote.

Repression of the Muslim Brothers is standard, but the regime is now also keen to ruin the Brothers’ reputation for competence and clean hands. To tarnish the Brothers in the popular imagination, state television used the peak viewing season of Ramadan to air a slickly produced mini-series about the Brothers in their founding years. Written by leading screenwriter Wahid Hamid and featuring a star-studded ensemble cast, the serial faithfully relates the tale the government has always told about the Muslim Brothers: They are a shifty, secretive, violent, opportunistic cult that is poised to take over Egypt. And to create mistrust of the Brothers’ strong suit, the government has targeted six of their parliamentary deputies for involvement in alleged corruption. The six are among 14 legislators, six from the NDP and two from the Wafd, accused of diverting for personal use state-funded medical treatment reserved for constituents. Appearing before the prosecution, one of the accused Brothers told the press, “It’s all very obvious. There’s no case here. The NDP wants to ruin our reputation. But the people and our constituents know us very well.” [15]

The regime has gamed the system and undermined its main competitor, but it has also turned inward, restructuring its main election vehicle to make it a leaner, more efficient vote-getting machine. Over the past four election cycles, a trend has emerged showing declining performance on the part of the NDP’s official candidates: 58.8 percent of these candidates won in 1990, compared to 52.6 percent in 1995, 38.9 percent in 2000 and 32.8 percent in 2005. A corollary is the fierce intramural competition between official and unofficial NDP candidates -- the “independents.” Aware of an image problem, especially relative to the Muslim Brothers’ discipline, the NDP’s new leaders are intent on erasing the party’s reputation as a menagerie of self-seekers who compete against one another and split the party vote.

Ahmad ‘Izz, a steel magnate and an associate of Gamal Mubarak in the Policies Secretariat, has shoved aside NDP election kingpin Kamal al-Shazli and promulgated strict rules for candidacy, marketing the new procedures as the “institutionalization” of the NDP. As before, aspiring candidates must pay a non-refundable, minimum application fee of 10,000 pounds (around $1,750), but now they must also sign affidavits vowing not to run as independents if they are not selected to front the NDP. As insurance, ‘Izz and Co. have instructed the Ministry of Interior to issue only one copy of a candidate’s criminal record, which is required of anyone who wishes to declare electoral candidacy. Since the sole copy of this record will be submitted to the NDP, jilted would-be candidates will not be able to reapply as independents. While the new rules may lead to a more disciplined, higher-performing NDP in the 2010 elections, they may also trigger revenge voting, if rejected applicants instruct their constituents to vote for anyone but the official NDP candidate in the district.

Already, the new rules have aggravated divisions between aspiring party candidates, leading some to spurn the nomination process and strike out on their own. One district to watch is Tallin in Sharqiyya province, where a three-way contest pits the official NDP candidate Yahya ‘Azmi (brother of President Mubarak’s chief of staff) against wealthy NDP defector Muhammad al-Toukhi against popular Muslim Brother incumbent Mu’min Zarour. Another is Edfu, the largest district in Aswan province, nicknamed “the American district” because it has never had a two-term incumbent. Mahmoud ‘Abd al-Mawla, one of the NDP’s representatives in the province, has refused to submit his candidacy papers and resigned his party post to run as an independent.

All Politics Is Local

Egypt’s elections are not barometers of national opinion; they are barometers of shifts in the relative position of government and opposition. There is no question of the government losing control in the November balloting. What is of interest is how the government maintains its dominance and at what cost.

Given its rigorous preparations over the past five years, all forecasts are that the regime will emerge triumphant, corralling the Muslim Brothers into a measly number of seats and putting an end, once and for all, to the Islamist organization’s brief prominence on the national and international stage. Within that broad picture, however, several unknowns remain. Will a resuscitated Wafd gain a large share of seats and emerge as the leader of a malleable new opposition, as some predict? [16] Will the Muslim Brothers gain a maximum of 20 seats, as others aver? Will the NDP’s new candidacy system work, halting the intra-party squabbling that has come to be its election trademark? And will the surge of social protest increase voting rates or otherwise galvanize the electorate?

There is a long tradition of treating Egyptian parliamentary elections as hopelessly choreographed affairs, with a clique of party bosses and security officials pulling the strings of marionettes below. But as the 2000 and, especially, the 2005 polls proved, there is a district-level dynamic in Egyptian legislative contests whereby local allegiances, alliances and animosities determine which incumbent gets to stay and which one gets the boot. Successful candidates of both government and opposition have always known it, and they focus their electoral energies accordingly, upon courting and securing the base. Egypt’s election fixers know it, too, which is why they send in police reinforcements when a district’s residents are poised to vote in the wrong man. To understand the outcomes of past and future election cycles, it pays to train one’s sights below at the interaction between voters, non-voting participants, the contestants vying for their support and the security forces, ever present and ready to pounce. The 2010 elections, like previous election cycles, will be a free-for-all of unfree and unfair -- but nonetheless riveting -- political competition.

Author’s Note: Thanks to Sayed El-Ghobashy, George Gavrilis and Mandy McClure for very helpful criticism and advice.

Endnotes

[1] Guardian, September 7, 2010.
[2] Al-Shurouq, September 18, 2010.
[3] Al-Dustour, March 30, 2010.
[4] Al-Misri al-Yawm, November 24, 2005.
[5] New York Times, November 21, 2005.
[6] David Rose, “The Gaza Bombshell,” Vanity Fair (April 2008).
[7] Ha’aretz, December 25, 2008.
[8] Washington Post, January 4, 2009.
[9] Hasan Nafa‘a, “Has the Israeli Interest Taken Precedence?” al-Misri al-Yawm, August 25, 2010.
[10] Saad Hagras, “Madinati Has No Heart, and the Government Has No Conscience,” al-Misri al-Yawm, September 21, 2010.
[11] Reuters, September 26, 2010.
[12] Reuters, September 18, 2010.
[13] On worker protest, see Joel Beinin, Justice for All: The Struggle for Worker Rights in Egypt (Washington, DC: Solidarity Center, 2010).
[14] Nathan Brown, Michele Dunne and Amr Hamzawy, “Egypt’s Controversial Constitutional Amendments,” Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, March 23, 2007.
[15] Al-Misri al-Yawm, September 15, 2010.
[16] ‘Ammar ‘Ali Hasan, “NDP-Wafd Deal at Baradei’s Expense Will Also Cut Down the Brothers,” al-Misri al-Yawm, March 14, 2010.

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