Eye on Egypt ETF Following 'Elections'
Michael Johnston submits:One of the world’s largest exercises in democracy took place over the weekend, as voters headed to the polls in Egypt for a chaotic election that highlighted rising uncertainty and conflict in one of Africa’s largest economies. The National Democratic Party of president Hosni Mubarak, who has ruled since 1981, was widely expected to strengthen its grip on power, a development that could pave the way for a transition of power from the 82-year old Mubarak to a still-unnamed successor at some point in the next two years. But the real story from the weekend elections were the widespread reports of violence, voter fraud, and crackdowns on opposition party candidates. Egypt ignored calls from the U.S. and other countries to allow international poll monitors, and some watchdog agencies reported that voting irregularities were numerous. “The authorities promised that Egyptian civil society could monitor the elections without the need for international observers,” said Joe Stork, deputy director of Human Rights Watch’s Middle East division. “Unfortunately the repeated exclusion of opposition representatives and independent monitors from polling stations, along with reports of violence and fraud suggest that citizens were not able to partake in free elections.”Complete Story »