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C. Flower
11-04-2011, 08:25 PM
There's a good run-down here of the Egyptian Presidential candidates declared so far.

The long list gives some idea of the rapidly developing political scene in Egypt.

http://www.memri.org/report/en/0/0/0/0/0/0/5188.htm?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

Sam Lord
12-04-2011, 07:43 PM
There's a good run-down here of the Egyptian Presidential candidates declared so far.

The long list gives some idea of the rapidly developing political scene in Egypt.

http://www.memri.org/report/en/0/0/0/0/0/0/5188.htm?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

I like the goalkeeper ...

C. Flower
12-04-2011, 08:57 PM
I like the goalkeeper ...

There are a couple of familiar faces in there.

That's the enthusiasm of people who haven't had unfixed elections for decades.

C. Flower
27-09-2011, 03:28 PM
"@BreakingNews: Egypt's parliamentary election,1st since popular revolt ousted Mubarak,to start on Nov28 -Egypt state news agency @Reuters"

The date set while the military and judiciary are under pressure to end military rule and emergency powers.

Sam Lord
27-09-2011, 03:52 PM
I think your OP is misleading. Elections will not be held on that date and not for several months after it to my knowledge.

C. Flower
27-09-2011, 03:55 PM
I think your OP is misleading. Elections will not be held on that date and not for several months after it to my knowledge.

There are three stages to the elections and the first stage is November 28th.

What is your source ?

http://www.thenewage.co.za/30254-1019-53-Egypt_elections_to_start_on_November_28_Mena

To avoid any confusion, I've added to the thread title.

Sam Lord
27-09-2011, 04:13 PM
Sorrry. I misunderstood something I read earlier.

This is the process:



Egyptian media quoted the election commission head, Abdel Moez Ibrahim, as saying voting for the lower house, the People's Assembly, would be in three stages, the first on 21 November and the last on 3 January.

Upper house elections would spread from 22 January to 4 March.



I still don't understand the multi-stage election thing.

C. Flower
17-10-2011, 10:14 AM
There is much alarm in Egypt that the military is going to prove very hard to shift from power, even with Parliamentary and Presidential elections agreed.

My personal view is that sections at officer level and all of the command will have to be removed, and replaced, if there is to be control by the people. Numerically, it is largely a conscript army.

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2011/10/15/world/middleeast/egypts-military-expands-power-raising-alarms.xml

C. Flower
28-11-2011, 11:46 AM
Voting started today. Queues literally miles long in some places. I hope that the Egyptian left get out and vote. They are not going to win this time, but abstaining is not a good option.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-15914277

Sam Lord
28-11-2011, 12:33 PM
Voting started today. Queues literally miles long in some places. I hope that the Egyptian left get out and vote. They are not going to win this time, but abstaining is not a good option.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-15914277

Abstaining is the call coming from Tahrir as far as I know. Any election held under the rule of the military will have no legitimacy (and will be stolen if the results threaten the military in any way) according to them. I think it is the correct position. To participate is the election would be essentially to accept the legitimacy of military rule at the present.

C. Flower
28-11-2011, 01:07 PM
Abstaining is the call coming from Tahrir as far as I know. Any election held under the rule of the military will have no legitimacy (and will be stolen if the results threaten the military in any way) according to them. I think it is the correct position. To participate is the election would be essentially to accept the legitimacy of military rule at the present.

The turnout is very high because millions of Egyptians look on this as an election that for the first time in decades offers them a choice. They are well aware that the military regime is still there, but are mindful of the gains made.

Abstention can be a principled position but still be wrong tactically. The Egyptian left should be using the election to put forward an alternative at the same time as pushing for an end to the military regime.

I'm sure that many are taking that position.

Count Bobulescu
28-11-2011, 07:27 PM
Today’s elections are not the final say. There are at least two more rounds of voting in December and January and there are over 40 groups/parties on the ballot. Will be “many” months before final result is known.


http://www.npr.org/templates/rundowns/rundown.php?prgId=3

ruserious
28-11-2011, 08:45 PM
Is the Arab Spring ending?

C. Flower
29-11-2011, 12:08 AM
Mona Eltahawy was walking down the street both arms in plaster after a police beating.

Guy asked her what happened and she told him. He showed her his tattoo...

http://desmond.yfrog.com/Himg739/scaled.php?tn=0&server=739&filename=v58o.jpg&xsize=640&ysize=640

Sam Lord
29-11-2011, 01:30 AM
Todays elections are not the final say. There are at least two more rounds of voting in December and January and there are over 40 groups/parties on the ballot. Will be many months before final result is known.


Many months for the military council to work out what result if any they want. The whole thing is an absurdity.

Count Bobulescu
29-11-2011, 06:27 AM
Thought I had already posted this. Two separate interviews in one eight minute segment. 1: An Egyptian Pol, and 2: A US analyst.

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/world/july-dec11/egypt2_11-25.html

C. Flower
29-11-2011, 09:54 AM
Many months for the military council to work out what result if any they want. The whole thing is an absurdity.

The military won't go easily and these elections won't get rid of them. They are however an opportunity for the Egyptian people to build and test out their political parties and to develop an alternative to the military. It's a positive, not a negative step. The young revolutionaries were right that the SCAF must go, and that voting alone won't get rid of it, but they need also to stay in touch with the vast majority of Egyptians who haven't yet reached the point of acting on that, and they need to build their own organisations.

A SCAF / Muslim Brotherhood alliance will be a political education.

I believe that you made this point, in different terms, about the Tunisian elections.

Sam Lord
29-11-2011, 12:53 PM
I believe that you made this point, in different terms, about the Tunisian elections.

Not carried out under military rule to my knowledge.

C. Flower
29-11-2011, 01:13 PM
Not carried out under military rule to my knowledge.

No, but neither was it done under a genuinely new regime. They started from where they were.

Sam Lord
29-11-2011, 03:21 PM
No, but neither was it done under a genuinely new regime. They started from where they were.

In Tunisia the old ruling party was put out of commission to all intents and purposes. The elections were carried out under the auspices of a transitional civilian governmnet which had no interest in rigging or manipulating anything and which resigned immediately afterward.

In Egypt the military have been in power for decades. They remain in power despite the removal of the figurehead Mubarak. They fully intend to remain in power, The election is being held under their control simply as part of their long game to retain power. It is a farce. Anyone who tells the Egyptian people that these elections are a positive step and that they should participate is leading them up the garden path. That is simply playing the game of the Military Council.

Here is a good piece by an Egyptian blogger: Why I am boycotting Egypt's election.

http://www.opendemocracy.net/tarek-shalaby/why-i-am-boycotting-egypts-election




When will I be willing to vote?
We all want to be able to take part in proper elections. If SCAF were to do the following, Id be the first in line to take part:

Release those unjustly detained and put the rest through civil prosecution
Bring an end to any sort of censorship imposed on the different media outlets, as well as indictment propaganda against any critical voices
Allow protests to take place without the use of force
Vow to become but another entity in a government led by an elected president and legislated by a parliament representing the people, and in no way a separate entity. This would eventually mean complete transparency. (Id take their word for it and give them the benefit of the doubt)

C. Flower
29-11-2011, 03:23 PM
Workers in the Port of Suez have just blocked the unloading of 21 tons of US tear gas.

C. Flower
29-11-2011, 04:28 PM
In Tunisia the old ruling party was put out of commission to all intents and purposes. The elections were carried out under the auspices of a transitional civilian governmnet which had no interest in rigging or manipulating anything and which resigned immediately afterward.

In Egypt the military have been in power for decades. They remain in power despite the removal of the figurehead Mubarak. They fully intend to remain in power, The election is being held under their control simply as part of their long game to retain power. It is a farce. Anyone who tells the Egyptian people that these elections are a positive step and that they should participate is leading them up the garden path. That is simply playing the game of the Military Council.

Here is a good piece by an Egyptian blogger: Why I am boycotting Egypt's election.

http://www.opendemocracy.net/tarek-shalaby/why-i-am-boycotting-egypts-election

As I said, abstention is a principled position. I just don't think it's right in this case. Going on 40 million Egyptians are voting, many for the first time as they didn't bother under the old voting system. There has been a ferment of political debate and activity and party-building. If the left don't want to take part in the institutions, if elected, they can go down to Tahrir Square and start a provisional parliament there, or wherever else they can find. They could not have made their opposition to the military more clear. But if they didn't participate in these elections, they would be failing to take advantage of some political space that has been won at great cost and would lose the opportunity of putting their programmes forward.

C. Flower
29-11-2011, 07:38 PM
A short video report on the elections - very good images of Cairo and T. Square.

Sort of hints at the idea that it suits the Muslim Brotherhood well to let the working class youths get killed fighting the police while the MB mops up the elections. Every time I see the MB candidates I'm more reminded of FF.

http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=7644

Binn Beal
29-11-2011, 10:39 PM
Paddy Power is giving very good odds on the military winning the election.:)

C. Flower
30-11-2011, 10:48 AM
80 injured last night - the Square (it must have been with the support of the police) had been turning into a carnival yesterday, with street vendors setting up stalls. The occupiers cleared them off. This is the type of tactic used by the Government immediately after the fall of Mubarak, where they flooded plain clothes police and youths into the square for a "clean up" operation, and also brought in a "party atmosphere."



A short bit about who the Salafis are. I think it underestimates the amount of trouble they are.

http://www.arabist.net/blog/2011/11/30/salafists-are-not-the-tea-party-theyre-shas.html

C. Flower
30-11-2011, 04:04 PM
A five minute capsule of different views of Tahrir occupiers about where to go from here

http://www.npr.org/2011/11/30/142929290/egyptian-protesters-ponder-their-next-step

Sam Lord
30-11-2011, 05:38 PM
Paddy Power is giving very good odds on the military winning the election.:)


I'm going to remortgage the house and put it all on that.

TotalMayhem
01-12-2011, 04:20 PM
The Muslim Brotherhood is claiming to have won 40% of the seats.

C. Flower
01-12-2011, 04:39 PM
The Muslim Brotherhood is claiming to have won 40% of the seats.

Could well be the case.

They are not tainted with a legacy of the Mubarak regime, are business-friendly, and have been organised as a well disciplined party for many years.

There are many new parties, but they have not yet found their feet, hence the wish for a delay in having elections.

The MB remind me of FF so much that it hurts.

Sam Lord
01-12-2011, 07:01 PM
The Muslim Brotherhood is claiming to have won 40% of the seats.

MB-Military coalition so ...

C. Flower
04-12-2011, 03:07 PM
MB well in the lead, Nour (Salafist/conservative) behind with the left parties on 13% +, so far.

http://www.independent.ie/breaking-news/world-news/islamists-lead-in-egypt-elections-2953598.html

C. Flower
20-12-2011, 08:53 AM
The army went in to Tahrir Square this morning, for the second morning running, and tried to clear protestors from there. A 15 year old is in a critical condition.

There has been very little comment on the fact that the army is now directly attacking protestors, whereas in the spring they stood back in apparent neutrality while the police and their plain clothes thugs assaulted and killed demonstrators.

http://www.breakingnews.ie/world/egyptian-troops-attack-protestors-532875.html

C. Flower
25-12-2011, 05:54 PM
The SCAF now wants to speed the elections up, in response, they say, to the demand for more rapid transition to civilian rule.

http://english.alarabiya.net/articles/2011/12/25/184531.html

17 people have been killed in the last three weeks, demonstrating against the SCAF. Yesterday there were also demonstrations against the demonstrations ... the Eygptian economy is in bits and protests are blamed by some for disruption to the economy.

C. Flower
25-12-2011, 06:27 PM
An interesting blog from someone I've followed a good while in Egypt, discussing the antagonism between the MB and the SCAF and the Revolutionary Socialists.

http://egyptianchronicles.blogspot.com/2011/12/beware-dangerous-revolutionary.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+EgyptianChronicles+%28Egyptia n+chronicles%29

The blogger says that tweets from RS members and others allegedly urging arson and violence are provocative and dangerous. Some tweets that the tweeters now claim were joking are now being used to mount campaigns against the RS. Plenty to think about, in this post.

Count Bobulescu
25-12-2011, 06:54 PM
Another good analysis
Thanassis Cambanis on The Despair of Egypt.

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2011/12/the-despair-of-egypt/250407/

The state of the revolution in Egypt is today, for me and probably many others watching it closely, cause for rage and despair. The case for despair is obvious: the dumb, brute hydra of a regime has dialed up its violent answer to the popular request for justice and accountability, and has expanded its power. The matter of rage is more complicated: in Egypt, Tunisia, and other Arab countries, it was righteous anger -- forcefully but strategically deployed -- that brought fearsome police states to their knees. The outrages of Egypt's regime are still on shameless display. The only question is whether the fury they provoke will make a difference.

C. Flower
25-12-2011, 10:08 PM
Another good analysis
Thanassis Cambanis on The Despair of Egypt.

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2011/12/the-despair-of-egypt/250407/
.

Some good description, but very much a snap shot of today.

And Egypt is not in despair. It is broke though. The spirit of the young protestors is amazing. The critique of the young for not making connections with the wider population is superficial. Connections were made over two years ago. If connections are not deep, it may be lack of a well developed programme and a perspective for replacing the military and raising the standard of living.

Count Bobulescu
26-12-2011, 04:05 AM
Some good description, but very much a snap shot of today.

And Egypt is not in despair. It is broke though. The spirit of the young protestors is amazing. The critique of the young for not making connections with the wider population is superficial. Connections were made over two years ago. If connections are not deep, it may be lack of a well developed programme and a perspective for replacing the military and raising the standard of living.
It appears you disagree with my opinion that Cambanis provides good analysis, which is fine. But there is little doubt that Cambanis is a respected writer on Middle Eastern affairs. He is a university professor, is based in Egypt, writing a book on the current situation. His work has been published by a wide variety of sources including Atlantic, Boston Globe, NYT, Foreign Policy, BBC, and others.

You'll find that most of Cambanis' writing this year at the first link below has been about Egypt. But he ranges wider.

http://thanassiscambanis.com/

http://thanassiscambanis.com/about/

Here is his non-blogging work published in outside sources dating back to 2004.

http://thanassiscambanis.com/articles/

http://thanassiscambanis.com/cv/

C. Flower
26-12-2011, 11:07 AM
It appears you disagree with my opinion that Cambanis provides good analysis, which is fine. But there is little doubt that Cambanis is a respected writer on Middle Eastern affairs. He is a university professor, is based in Egypt, writing a book on the current situation. His work has been published by a wide variety of sources including Atlantic, Boston Globe, NYT, Foreign Policy, BBC, and others.

You'll find that most of Cambanis' writing this year at the first link below has been about Egypt. But he ranges wider.

http://thanassiscambanis.com/

http://thanassiscambanis.com/about/

Here is his non-blogging work published in outside sources dating back to 2004.

http://thanassiscambanis.com/articles/

http://thanassiscambanis.com/cv/

I took a look at Cambanis's cv, before I wrote. :) I think he provides some useful description of what is happening, but no more analysis or ability to predict what will happen next than the next man.

In fairness to him, I may have been put off by the toxic title - which may well have been added by and editor.

C. Flower
04-01-2012, 11:52 AM
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/04/world/middleeast/us-reverses-policy-in-reaching-out-to-muslim-brotherhood.html?_r=2&pagewanted=all&smid=fb-share

The US "reaching out to the Muslim Brotherhood."

Making it public, more like. The US has favoured the MB as a bulwark against socialism since its inception after WW2.

Count Bobulescu
02-04-2012, 10:43 PM
MB has reversed itself, and decided to stand a candidate in the presidential election. Commentators suggest this will cost them in credibility.

Count Bobulescu
03-04-2012, 05:21 PM
The very model of a modern Muslim brother.
Bret Stephens in The Wall Street Journal on Egypt's presidential candidates (http://theatlantic.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=ed2d318978b7dc9b30b1f464f&id=289d69f049&e=e5c72d445c) Khairat Al Shater, the Muslim Brotherhoods candidate for president in the Egyptian elections, has gotten increasing attention from the State Deptartment as a potentially moderate option. "About Mr. Shater's intelligence and effectiveness, there's little debate. But ... 'moderation'—except perhaps in the broader company he keeps—is another matter," writes Stephens. He outlines Shater's statements on Israel, where he speaks of jihad. Shater makes positive-sounding statements about rule of law and economic development. But he also speaks of these things as part of a wider integration of Islamist thought into every area of society. "What Mr. Shater is advocating, in other words, is the creation of flexible democratic political structures within the rigid framework of a quasi-totalitarian society ... Is this vision of a regime really compatible with American values and

Count Bobulescu
05-04-2012, 04:38 PM
-BUT RELAX - the U.S. now sees the Brotherhood as a MODERATING force in Egypt (agree - NOT a good sign). This story from Monday's NYT explains what's going on - "In Egyptian Hard-Liner's Surge, New Worries for the Muslim Brotherhood," by David D. Kirkpatrick in Cairo: "Hazem Salah Abu Ismail ... has ... surged to become a front-runner in the race to become Egypt's next president ... The Brotherhood, which leads Parliament, had pledged not to seek the presidency for fear of provoking a backlash from the Egyptian military and the West. But Mr. Abu Ismail's surge raises the prospect that the winner might not be a more secular or liberal figure, but a strident Islamist ... And so, in a remarkable inversion, American policy makers who once feared a Brotherhood takeover now appear to see the group as an indispensable ally against Egypt's ultraconservatives." http://nyti.ms/HhVdDK (http://go.politicoemail.com/?qs=c18bc3f2642ca992ae0da35dac8072d4677c16da35bb90 1eff8de8452350081a)

C. Flower
09-04-2012, 01:04 PM
-BUT RELAX - the U.S. now sees the Brotherhood as a MODERATING force in Egypt (agree - NOT a good sign). This story from Monday's NYT explains what's going on - "In Egyptian Hard-Liner's Surge, New Worries for the Muslim Brotherhood," by David D. Kirkpatrick in Cairo: "Hazem Salah Abu Ismail ... has ... surged to become a front-runner in the race to become Egypt's next president ... The Brotherhood, which leads Parliament, had pledged not to seek the presidency for fear of provoking a backlash from the Egyptian military and the West. But Mr. Abu Ismail's surge raises the prospect that the winner might not be a more secular or liberal figure, but a strident Islamist ... And so, in a remarkable inversion, American policy makers who once feared a Brotherhood takeover now appear to see the group as an indispensable ally against Egypt's ultraconservatives." http://nyti.ms/HhVdDK (http://go.politicoemail.com/?qs=c18bc3f2642ca992ae0da35dac8072d4677c16da35bb90 1eff8de8452350081a)


Nothing new here - the US supported the Muslim Brotherhood from its outset over fifty years ago.

More of a shock here - Omar Suleiman, the notorious former head of intel for Mubarak, is standing in the Presidential elections. Also someone smiled upon for years by the US.

http://news.yahoo.com/egypts-former-spy-chief-joins-presidential-race-123946025.html

Count Bobulescu
09-04-2012, 01:21 PM
Your view of US opinion of the MB is markedly different than that of NYT. Care to elaborate?

C. Flower
09-04-2012, 01:27 PM
Your view of US opinion of the MB is markedly different than that of NYT. Care to elaborate?

I've posted on the history of the MB elsewhere - it was fostered by the US from day one.

The press is full of reports of backing of the MB in Egypt by US politicians and by the UK.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2006/feb/17/egypt.politics

The MB is socially and economically conservative (although not jihadist, or anything like it), and popular. From the Western governments point of view they offer a much preferred option to the young radicals who are forming dozens of new organisations in Egypt.

Count Bobulescu
09-04-2012, 01:33 PM
Yeah, but that piece is dated April 6, 2012..........not fifty years ago. That piece is closer to the NYT than you seem to be.

Count Bobulescu
15-04-2012, 12:10 AM
VOA is not one of my regular sources, but this cropped up on my Google feed.http://www.voanews.com/english/news/middle-east/Egypt-Disqualifies-10-Presidential-Hopefuls-147454915.html

The Egyptian election commission has barred 10 candidates from running for president, including Omar Suleiman,former spy chief under autocratic President Hosni Mubarak, Muslim Brotherhood candidate Khairat al-Shater, and Salafi politician Hazem Abu Ismail.

The head of the Supreme Presidential Election Commission, Farouk Sultan, declined to give details on the reasons for their disqualification, but said the 10 have 48 hours to appeal. Thirteen others had their candidacy approved, including former Arab League chief Amr Moussa.

The final list of approved candidates will be announced before the end of the month.

C. Flower
15-04-2012, 12:36 AM
.http://www.voanews.com/english/news/middle-east/Egypt-Disqualifies-10-Presidential-Hopefuls-147454915.html

It's cropping up all over twitter, too.

Young Eygptian democrats seem disgracefully pleased about this curtailment of democracy.

Count Bobulescu
20-04-2012, 12:27 AM
Whos Derailing Egypts transition to Democracy?

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/04/who-is-derailing-egypts-transition-to-democracy/256090/

Many Egyptian liberals rejoiced at Tuesday's news that three of the most polarizing -- and popular -- presidential candidates, including those representing the Muslim Brotherhood and the ultra-conservative Salafists, would not be allowed to compete (http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/egypts-disqualified-presidential-candidate-says-military-rulers-have-no-intention-of-handing-over-rule/2012/04/18/gIQAt95UQT_story.html).

The final ruling from the Supreme Presidential Elections Commission followed a lower court decision a week earlier that disbanded the lopsided and widely detested constitutional convention, which had been forced through by the Muslim Brotherhood and its Salafi allies.

On the surface, the decisions about the presidential race and the constitutional convention both thwart some serious electoral shenanigans by the Muslim Brotherhood and others, but this is hardly progress for liberalism in Egypt. Unfortunately for Egypt's prospects, both rulings came from opaque administrative bodies with questionable authority and motives. In the case of the presidential commission, there is no avenue for appeal. And in the potentially more important matter of the constitution, a decidedly political question was buried in a layer of obfuscating legalese.

No one in Egypt can explain the rules governing the two most important hinge points in Egypt's pivot away from authoritarianism: the selection of the president and the drafting of the constitution.

What's really going on here? Who decided to disqualify three presidential front-runners? Who shut down the constitutional process that had been convened, however poorly, by the freely and fairly elected parliament? On what grounds?
In both instances, a group of essentially anonymous and unaccountable bureaucrats radically transformed the political landscape, citing reasons at best opaque and at worst nonsensical, deploying jargon and legalese to set the parameters of Egypt's future state

C. Flower
01-05-2012, 12:29 PM
This article on the thinking of the people of an island near Cairo, agricultural workers who live there in dire poverty, but who have refused to be displaced by luxury tourism development, is an insight into why some people would vote Salafist.

Others reject the religious parties.

But views in general are jaundiced, life is hell, and religion pretty well all they have got to relieve it.

http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/37449.aspx

C. Flower
02-05-2012, 05:19 PM
20 people dead today so far - supporters of banned islamist candidates have been "occupying" in protest and today were assaulted by police "plainclothes thugs" and have defended themselves vigorously.
http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2012/0502/breaking40.html

The left should be supporting the right of these parties to stand, as the islamists supported them when Tahrir Square was under attack.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-17920053#TWEET136436

Sam Lord
03-05-2012, 07:51 AM
Two presidential candidates have suspended their campaigns as a result of the attack on the protesters which appears to have been carried out by the police (and possibly army) in plain clothes:



The clashes prompted presidential candidates, including Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh, a progressive Islamist, and Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood to suspend their campaigns. They criticized the military for a lack of security reminiscent of the soccer riot in Port Said in February that left more than 70 people dead.


http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-egypt-protests-20120503,0,6756130.story

Sam Lord
03-05-2012, 07:55 AM
The Sit-In continues ....

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/40704/Egypt/Politics-/Egyptians-of-all-stripes-flock-to-support-Abbasiya.aspx

C. Flower
04-05-2012, 05:08 PM
A lot of protestors out today, and a heavy army presence. Some people are tweeting that there is heavy firing, others saying it is noise only - not live fire.

An hour ago - Cairo -

http://d3j5vwomefv46c.cloudfront.net/photos/large/573119947.jpg?key=640480&Expires=1336148456&Key-Pair-Id=APKAIYVGSUJFNRFZBBTA&Signature=0T9glyW4GZ3gWu0WZ8-ZtdIsFPhj9mpwMipjifMhxwWUCdBsH9wysetXfNU4cSaSOzBUf 3mQDBIIwjl3qqA13Cj9VduZPd68RX7QUPD8CeEEUpW7LnbVE0y O64So4FCiUaijqgtaW9HuFxXggPNpdumybJenGyI4hZ4KFzoTX K8_

Count Bobulescu
11-05-2012, 04:11 PM
A four hour TV debate.


Top news: Just two weeks before the first round of voting in the country's presidential election, Egypt held the Arab world's first televised presidential debate on Thursday night. The four-hour event featured Amr Moussa, a former Arab League chief, and Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh, a former member of the Muslim Brotherhood.
The two top candidates discussed the economy, security, and the role Islamic law should play in government, and criticized each other's backgrounds. Moussa highlighted the oath of loyalty that Aboul Fotouh once swore to the chairman of the Brotherhood, while Aboul Fotouh noted that Moussa had long served as a diplomat under Hosni Mubarak. "Those who take part in creating the problem couldn't be part of the solution," he declared.
[Leinster House please note.]
Friday marked the first day that Egyptians abroad can start voting in the presidential election.

C. Flower
23-05-2012, 04:13 PM
Very slow polling so far today - goes on tonight and tomorrow though.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/middle-east-live/2012/may/23/egypt-presidential-elections-live

Ah.... warming up...

https://p.twimg.com/Atlq260CAAAwst4.jpg



Evan Hill ‏@evanchill (https://twitter.com/evanchill)

A long line of men stretching around the corner at Othman bin Afan coed primary school in Haram nbrhood, Giza. pic.twitter.com/rzMXQc8m (http://t.co/rzMXQc8m)

C. Flower
23-05-2012, 05:32 PM
http://english.alarabiya.net/articles/2012/05/23/216003.html

C. Flower
28-05-2012, 12:40 PM
The next stage of the Presidentials will be the MB candidate vs Mubarak's former PM.

The MB vote has halved since the Parliamentary elections.

Reuters discusses why people have lost faith in them and why they will try to reach out to the broad anti-Mubarak front
http://uk.reuters.com/article/2012/05/28/uk-egypt-election-brotherhood-idUKBRE84R09M20120528

C. Flower
28-05-2012, 03:10 PM
It's official: Morsi in 1st place with 5,764,952 votes; Shafiq in 2nd w 5,505,327. Sabbahi 3rd w 4,820,237. Run-off between Morsi and Shafik

C. Flower
28-05-2012, 05:22 PM
The Left in Egypt energised and annoyed by the MB Mubarak run off

https://p.twimg.com/At_owEcCQAACQEP.jpg

ang
14-06-2012, 04:31 PM
There is much alarm in Egypt that the military is going to prove very hard to shift from power, even with Parliamentary and Presidential elections agreed.

My personal view is that sections at officer level and all of the command will have to be removed, and replaced, if there is to be control by the people. Numerically, it is largely a conscript army.

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2011/10/15/world/middleeast/egypts-military-expands-power-raising-alarms.xml

You were right -


@Stratfor ‪#Egypt‬ 's military rulers claim to be in control of the government after the Supreme Constitutional Court ruled to dissolve parliament

Further Update -


Egypt’s highest court has ordered the country’s Islamist-dominated parliament dissolved, saying its election about six months ago was unconstitutional.

The Supreme Constitutional Court ruled that a third of the parliament was elected illegally.

As a result, it says in its explanation of the ruling, “the makeup of the entire chamber is illegal and, consequently, it does not legally stand

http://www.breakingnews.ie/archives/2012/0614/world/court-dissolves-egypt-parliament-555368.html

C. Flower
14-06-2012, 05:34 PM
Effectively, a shift to military dictatorship is taking place -


Egypts justice ministry on Wednesday issued a decree authorising military-intelligence officers and military-police officers to arrest civilians, a right previously reserved for police officers alone.

Crimes to which the law will apply include "crimes and misdemeanours harmful to the government," "possession/use of explosives," "resisting orders issued by those in power or assaulting them," "destruction of public property or historic monuments," "obstructing traffic," "strikes at institutions that serve the public interest or assaulting the right to work," and "intimidation and thuggery.

The decree, drafted earlier this month and announced in the official state newspaper on Wednesday, is reportedly based on Military Judiciary Law 25 of 1966. According to the ministry, the law will remain in effect until a new constitution is drafted.

Egypt's new national charter, and the mechanisms employed for selecting members of the Constituent Assembly tasked with drafting it, remains an issue of enormous controversy. On Monday, liberal and leftist figures walked out of the assembly for the second time after accusing Egypts Islamist parties of attempting to monopolise the constitution-drafting process.

Rights lawyer Gamal Eid told Ahram Online that the justice ministrys published declaration did not represent a law per se, but rather a ministerial decree that could still be overturned by an act of parliament.

Rights organisations, for their part, quickly issued a joint response to the contentious decree, which has sparked outcry among many of Egypts post-revolution political forces. A Wednesday statement signed by 15 local rights organisations condemned the decree, saying it served to confirm that Egypt was a "military state."

"Several of the crimes included in the decree are actually rights, such as the right to freedom of expression against ruling powers or established laws, demonstrations and strikes," the statement read.

Rights groups also criticised Egypts ruling military council for the way it had dealt with security-related issues, stating: "Instead of restructuring and purging the interior ministry, the government appointed by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces is assigning the military a suspicious role in internal affairs a role that should be limited to foreign affairs."

Liberal MP Amr Hamzawy, for his part, described the decree as "a revival of the state of emergency using different tools," declaring on Twitter that he planned to file a request with Parliament Speaker Saad El-Katatni that the decree be debated in parliament in the justice ministers presence.


http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/44786.aspx

It's touch and go. It may take another massive mobilisation to push the army back.

C. Flower
14-06-2012, 07:25 PM
The situation is in the balance - but the initiative is with the SCAF, which is very dangerous. There is speculation that the MB is trying to do a power sharing deal with them behind closed doors.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/middle-east-live/2012/jun/14/syria-crisis-war-crimes-evidence-live

C. Flower
17-06-2012, 11:38 PM
A useful, if incomplete, piece of reporting from Time. It asks the question whether a long military coup has been successful.

Mubarak's resignation was a strategic retreat for the military. They have conceded no real ground at any stage, beyond the political space that was created by the prolonged mass protests and strikes of last year.

Early on, the left was aware that early elections would leave them on the back foot, as they had not been able to organise legally before, and didn't have the structures in place that the Muslim Brotherhood had. Sections of the left have also been drawn into fruitless and exhausting street battles, on the terms of the state forces. When the occupation of Tahrir Square ended, on Mubarak's resignation, the first reflex of the population was to go straight for wage demands. The middle class youth who led parts of the movement opposed economic demands, imo a very big mistake. Fundamentally, it is the failure of the Egyptian regime to provide a livelihood for much of the population that the battle was about, even more than about democratic rights. A credible economic programme, and strong organisation within trade unions seemed to be necessary steps.
Some on the left at this stage called for a boycott, rather than an MB vote to keep Shafiq out. There seems to have been little clarity about the danger of the judiciary and SCAF, in spite of the constant street battles, from the lack of defence of the democratic rights of the MB when they have been under pressure.

Nevertheless, a large number of new parties have been formed and have campaigned successfully.


Voter turnout in the first round of presidential balloting was just 42%, compared with 54% for last year’s parliamentary polls swept by the Brotherhood and the rival Islamists of the Salafi movement. Morsy won 25% of the vote, closely trailed by Shafik with 24%. While fear and uncertainty drove the Shafik vote, the Brotherhood was able to rely on its strong grassroots organizational network — something the revolutionaries in the square have failed to replicate among ordinary Egyptians. Still, it was remarkable that leftist presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabbahi finished with 21% of the vote and liberal Islamist Abdel Moneim Aboul Futouh won 18% — that’s a solid 39% of voters who sought an alternative to the old regime and the Brotherhood. But adding those numbers together is an entirely hypothetical exercise, since the revolutionary camp has been hopelessly divided on political strategy

Read more: http://world.time.com/2012/06/06/egypts-revolutionaries-return-to-tahrir-square-but-their-protests-are-flailing/#ixzz1y5nc9UkD


It was never going to be easy to shift military rule from Egypt. Last year's events were only a beginning.


http://world.time.com/2012/06/14/egypts-judges-and-generals-dissolve-parliament-is-the-revolution-now-truly-over/

Officer in charge - just after the clearing of Tahrir Square occupation by military police, last February.

http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/Tahrir%202011%20for%20PW/297-Copy.jpg

C. Flower
18-06-2012, 08:29 AM
SCAF, the Egyptian military, issued a "constitutional statement" last night which was effectively a coup, giving itself powers over the electoral process.

While there are still votes being counted, it seems that Mursi, for the Muslim Brotherhood, has beaten Shafiq, of the old Mubarak regime, decisively.

The Youth Groups of last year's peaceful uprising against Mubarak supported a Mursi vote in the run offs. Some of the prominent lefts seem to be all over the place, called for abstention and are now saying that a Mursi election is good for SCAF as it provides a fig leaf for a dictatorship.

Failure to grasp that democratic rights have to apply to everyone, or they are not democratic rights. An MB victory was inevitable at this stage, and the MBs rights should be defended. The left vote, under the circumstances, was very strong. More time needed to build. The question now, is will the military attempt to close down democracy in a "crack down" and how will people defend their rights ? The endless protests and street battles have worn people down to some extent, but there is everything to gain or lose at this stage.

C. Flower
22-06-2012, 03:24 PM
There have been very big demonstrations organised by the Muslim Brotherhood, and some calls for an uprising against the army. There has been a long drawn out dispute over the election result, with a spurious claim by Shafiq to have won.

http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=8508

C. Flower
24-06-2012, 03:48 PM
Morsi wins - official announcement

Shafik: 12,347,380. Morsi: 13,230,131 (51.73%) void: 843,252 Morsi wins! #egypt

C. Flower
24-06-2012, 03:55 PM
Very happy with this news as I would have feared announcement of a Shafik "victory" as did these men anxiously waiting for the announcement earlier in Tahrir Square.

http://desmond.yfrog.com/Himg815/scaled.php?tn=0&server=815&filename=d01evr.jpg&xsize=640&ysize=640

The left and other secular parties polled well. The Muslim Brotherhood played a blinder strategically, linking up with the anti Mubarak movement at tactically important moments, but keeping their lines of communication with the US and the army open.

They agreed with the army to support early elections, reducing the chances that the left and other secular opposition parties would have had time to build their organisations, telling the army they would not stand themselves. Then they went ahead, as the legislation, after court challenge, allowed for it, and stood.

FF and FG combined - But not a military dictatorship.

It now remains to be seen whether the army will allow them to rule. If not, the future is one of serious conflict.

The Muslim Brotherhood have inherited very serious economic problems, with millions of Egyptians struggling on or below the bread line. Interesting times ahead, either way.

C. Flower
24-06-2012, 07:59 PM
Well-deserved celebration of completion of a democratic election of the new President in Tahrir now.


People are lining the bridges waving flags overlooking #Tahrir Square. All ages, men, women, children even newborn babies. #Egypt #Morsi @cswft


So different from when I was there Jan last year @cswift

C. Flower
29-06-2012, 02:38 PM
Tahrir Square packed today for Morsi's inaugural speech as President. It would normally be given in Parliament, but the Parliament was dissolved by the judiciary pending new elections.

The people of the MB and the left are demanding full power to the democratic institutions.

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2012/0629/breaking30.html

The IMF, bearing conditional loans is the latest threat to the Egyptian revolution.


The rally's slogan, "Powers of the president", heralds what may prove a prolonged struggle between the Islamists and army generals who have imposed stark curbs on presidential prerogatives before they formally hand over executive authority.

Crowds in Tahrir, the hub of last year's revolt against ousted leader Hosni Mubarak, chanted "Morsi is president of the republic" and waved Egyptian flags with his picture inset.

"A full revolution or nothing. Down, down with military rule," they shouted.

"We, the people, are the red line.

C. Flower
30-06-2012, 02:07 AM
Morsi is treading a delicate line. He went to Tahrir Square and stated to the hundreds of thousands of people there that there as no power higher than the people, but has conceded to swearing in formally to the Constitutional Court, accepting the dissolution of parliament. But the military has had to back down over powers to arrest civilians. They have, however, held on to military and foreign policy decision making (presumably with US backing, as they are armed by the US). If Egypt accepts IMF loans, there will not be much governing left for Morsi and the MB Parliament to do. The situation is a constant flux of power back and fore between the people, the military and the political parties, particularly the MB.

C. Flower
10-07-2012, 01:34 PM
Well, Morsi called the Parliament together, and it convened today for a short time, in defiance of the army decree.

Heads down, and keep going...

C. Flower
10-07-2012, 03:15 PM
Blog from the Sandmonkey - "the new regime is being formed, and it is up to us to form it"

http://thedailynewsegypt.com/2012/07/10/the-message/

C. Flower
11-07-2012, 09:26 AM
The Egyptian Courts have backed the army against Morsi, to prevent the Parliament reconvening.

This is not surprising.

Parliament should ignore, and consider removing the judges.

ang
12-08-2012, 04:12 PM
Update -


The Associated Press ‏
BREAKING: State TV: Egypt's president orders retirement of defense minister and chief of staff. -BW

ang
12-08-2012, 04:18 PM
OK, starting to look like President is going to take charge and force change -


The Associated Press ‏@AP
BREAKING: Egypt's president cancels constitutional amendments that gave military wide powers. -BW

Kev Bar
12-08-2012, 04:38 PM
OK, starting to look like President is going to take charge and force change -

Interesting.

ang
12-08-2012, 05:14 PM
Interesting.

Yes its now starting to look like some sort of deal.? -


President consulted army over changes: general

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/08/12/us-egypt-army-general-idUSBRE87B0FO20120812

C. Flower
12-08-2012, 05:47 PM
Yes its now starting to look like some sort of deal.? -


http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/08/12/us-egypt-army-general-idUSBRE87B0FO20120812


The Muslim Brotherhood has played a balancing act between supporting the army and keeping a tie to the masses of middle class and working class people who want change, right from the beginning. They were in talks with the army behind the scenes the whole time that the Tahrir occupation was on.


President Mohamed Mursi said Tantawi and Chief of Staff Sami Enan had been ordered to retire and would become advisers to the president.

Boxing clever.

C. Flower
14-08-2012, 05:52 PM
Extraordinarily little comment on Morsy's move to replace the Egyptian military leadership and assume full Presidential powers. He is in the position to recall the Assembly.

He has provided for a very soft exit indeed for Tantawi et all, decorated and appointed to plum posts.

It is inconceivable to me that the army would have gone so quietly without a nod from the US (Wikileaks revealed to years ago that there were twice daily State Department discussions with Egypt's regime heads under Mubarak).

In spite of the vote for Morsy, and for mainstream conservative (not Salafist) Moslem politics, the millions of people who have come out on the streets before are still not to be overlooked.

He now has the job of trying to run Egypt with an even weaker economy and rising food prices.

Overall though, it is a victory ( a limited and insecure victory) for the anti-Mubarak movement, that has now seen not only Mubarak go, and face trial, but Tantawi and many others displaced.



http://thedailynewsegypt.com/2012/08/12/morsy-assumes-power-sacks-tantawi-and-anan-reverses-constitutional-decree-and-reshuffles-scaf/

Count Bobulescu
29-08-2012, 04:18 PM
Morsis Wrong Turn?


I find it very disturbing that one of the first trips by Egypts newly elected president, Mohamed Morsi, will be to attend the Nonaligned Movements summit meeting in Tehran this week. Excuse me, President Morsi, but there is only one reason the Iranian regime wants to hold the meeting in Tehran and have heads of state like you attend, and that is to signal to Irans people that the world approves of their countrys clerical leadership and therefore they should never, ever, ever again think about launching a democracy movement the exact same kind of democracy movement that brought you, Mr. Morsi, to power in Egypt.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/29/opinion/friedman-morsis-wrong-turn.html?_r=1&hp

ang
08-10-2012, 10:04 PM
Mursi Pardons


RT News ‏@rtenews
Egyptian president Mohammed Mursi has pardoned all political prisoners detained since uprising that ousted Hosni Mubarak

C. Flower
05-12-2012, 08:06 PM
A lot of Egyptian tweets reporting that Morsi supporters are firing with buck shot at protestors.

Sounds as though things are getting very messy.

C. Flower
06-12-2012, 12:35 AM
Three reported dead and over 300 injured, some seriously, outside the Presidential Palace. Videos of anti-Morsi protestors, look like workers, one boy, with bad head injuries.

RT @Repent11: MOH: 3 Dead, 346 injured in ongoing clashes outside palace. #Egypt

‫إخوان لمتظاهرين: قولوا إنكم *زب وطني وا*نا نبطل ضرب‬‎ - YouTube

C. Flower
06-12-2012, 09:44 PM
Seven dead, going on for 1000 injured, and a number of Muslim Brotherhood offices burned out across Egypt.

http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/59964.aspx

The way things are lined up seems to be the Muslim Brotherhood - conservative, business oriented - who won the election - opposed by workers, young revolutionary activists, and secular democrats, including elBaradei.

ElBaradei is accused of being part of a Zionist plot.

http://www.business-standard.com/generalnews/news/elbaradei-other-oppn-leaders-to-be-probed-for-espionage/88731/

C. Flower
06-12-2012, 09:58 PM
Rumours of opposition leader arrests, and a call for a mass protest by islamicists at Media City (independent satellite broadcasters) tomorrow.

Things are heating up all the time.

C. Flower
04-01-2013, 02:39 PM
A group of Egyptian lawyers has alleged that the Muslim Brotherhood took billions from Obama.

http://english.alarabiya.net/articles/2013/01/04/258553.html

Sam Lord
04-01-2013, 02:41 PM
A group of Egyptian lawyers has alleged that the Muslim Brotherhood took billions from Obama.

http://english.alarabiya.net/articles/2013/01/04/258553.html

I never suspected that he was that wealthy.

riposte
04-01-2013, 02:46 PM
A group of Egyptian lawyers has alleged that the Muslim Brotherhood took billions from Obama.

http://english.alarabiya.net/articles/2013/01/04/258553.html

Would this be the same Judiciary who enforced Mubarak's brutal rule for 30 years?

C. Flower
04-01-2013, 02:47 PM
I never suspected that he was that wealthy.


There is a Mubarak resurgence.

That doesn't mean they are wrong about the money. Verdict out.

C. Flower
28-01-2013, 11:49 AM
The "soccer hooliganism" and ensuing trial is a blatant provocation that has allowed Morsi now to declare a State of Emergency in Port Said and two other cities and is now pushing through legislation to allow the army to make arrests - something that is a hugely sensitive issue in Egypt.

He has his work cut out for him. I just picked up this tweet via the reputable @evanchill,


ong march of at least a thousand going down 23rd June St in Port Said. Men on motobikes leading it. "Hey Morsi, ****** your mother."

The army is a conscript army, and Port Said is a city with a long and strong history of fearless revolt and strong organisation.

C. Flower
29-01-2013, 01:38 AM
A lot of people out on the streets curfew breaking to protest against the curfew.

This guy surely deserves the epic theme music -

‫ضفدع بشر‰ Šرعب ا„ا…† ا„…رƒز‰ ا„…صر‰- ا„طرŠ‚ ا„‰ اŠ„ات‬‎ - YouTube

Dr. FIVE
29-01-2013, 01:49 AM
Class,


did you see the clip from yesterday of police systematically smashing up cars?

more of them took up that task then clearing crowds in an attempt to smear protesters

Dr. FIVE
29-01-2013, 01:53 AM
here > #OpEgypt: #Egypt's police in #Suez damaging parked cars to defame protestors - YouTube

also saw someone mention a police van driving past driven by protesters.

protesters or plain clothes police?

C. Flower
29-01-2013, 06:33 AM
here > #OpEgypt: #Egypt's police in #Suez damaging parked cars to defame protestors - YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m_eZbOy_JLo)

also saw someone mention a police van driving past driven by protesters.

protesters or plain clothes police?

2011 they smashed a load of shop windows in the main shopping street down to Tahrir and helped themselves. Everyone knew they had done it, they were seen, but for a lot of the traders it was still the protestors fault, for being there.

Plain clothes police "thugs", stocky guys, all looked as though they were related.

Sam Lord
29-01-2013, 03:09 PM
A lot of people out on the streets curfew breaking to protest against the curfew.

This guy surely deserves the epic theme music -

‫ضفدع بشرى يرعب الامن المركزى المصرى- الطريق الى ايلات‬‎ - YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGaM01Y_3B0)

lol

Legend.

C. Flower
02-02-2013, 08:07 PM
Thursday February 7th, 2013, 7 p.m.

Tina McVeigh of the SWP has recently been to

http://www.swp.ie/content/special-report-egypt



Report from Cairo by recently returned socialist activist Tina Mac Veigh.

Analysis and images of the Egyptian Revolution.

C. Flower
04-02-2013, 10:53 PM
Awful to see young activists are getting beaten to death by the police again in Egypt.

http://www.latimes.com/news/world/worldnow/la-fg-wn-egypt-police-torture-death-20130204,0,1263536.story

C. Flower
09-03-2013, 09:30 PM
Uproar in Cairo and Port Said over the dubious multiple death sentences on soccer fans - and 21 police let off. Having watched the video at the time of the original "ptich invasion" that cause the 70+deaths, it looked likely that the police instigated the trouble on pitch.

Port Said fans have burned down the palatial Police Club in Cairo and also the football association headquarters.

If the men are hanged, there will be hell to pay.

C. Flower
30-06-2013, 06:52 PM
http://t.co/iPq7kpKFwr

Massive anti Morsi crowds in Cairo - biggest seen since the fall of Mubarak - and big pro Morsi crowds elsewhere.

Workers and disatisfied middle class people and also secular minded pro Mubarak people are opposing the Muslim Brotherhood.

The desperate state of the economy, transport, services is at the centre of this.

Dr. FIVE
30-06-2013, 09:11 PM
Alexandria

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BOB6PDVCcAAYvgQ.jpg

C. Flower
30-06-2013, 10:29 PM
The BBC is saying it is the largest demonstration in the history of mankind.

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BOCZRxaCUAA6q-o.jpg:large

C. Flower
30-06-2013, 10:58 PM
Mohamed Fadel Fahmy @Repent11
(http://twitter.com/Repent11)#June30 (http://twitter.com/search?q=%23June30) Death Toll: 2 in Asiut, 1 in Beni Souif. All killed by gunshots #RIP (http://twitter.com/search?q=%23RIP) #Egypt (http://twitter.com/search?q=%23Egypt)

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BOChY-XCYAAbBwL.jpg:large




Crowd lasering military helicopter

C. Flower
30-06-2013, 11:07 PM
Geographical analysis of protests in Egypt.

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/perspective/alarabiya-studies/2013/06/30/Analysis-of-Egypt-s-June-30-protests-.html (http://english.alarabiya.net/en/perspective/alarabiya-studies/2013/06/30/Analysis-of-Egypt-s-June-30-protests-.html)

Dr. FIVE
01-07-2013, 12:45 AM
just about to post that helicopter pic. unreal

C. Flower
01-07-2013, 12:48 AM
just about to post that helicopter pic. unreal

Soccer hooligans :)

C. Flower
01-07-2013, 08:28 PM
I still haven't heard a figure for yesterday's protest, said to have been the biggest ever on the planet.

The Egyptians are still "a risen people" who will take to the streets by the millions, to get what they want - or at this stage, to get rid of what they don't want.

There is now a very big risk of military dictatorship, as the Morsi government was not able (or motivated) to do anything for the IMF-wrecked Egyptian government and economy.

The crowds on the street have a minority who are socialists and revolutionaries, but the mass are not organised politically and are politically diverse, middle class and workers. There is at this stage no sign of a left opposition with the capacity to lead their transformation to communal and social basis.

As in Brazil, and much of Europe, there is a gulf between the lives people face and their fairly modest aspirations.