Egyptian Democracy in Focus: Why Understanding Egypt Elections is So Critical

For updates on Egypt's elections and a look at the issues surrounding Egypt's presidential race, visit Egypt Elects.

Follow @egypt_elects

It's been a little over a year since Hosni Mubarak was forced from power in Egypt as part of the “Arab Spring.” In November and December Egypt witnessed its first free and fair elections, when over 54% of eligible voters turned up to decide who would represent them in the People’s Assembly, the lower house of Egypt’s parliament. Elections for the upper house, the Shura Council, soon followed in January and February of this year.

Amidst this pioneering political transition, one paramount election has yet to occur: an election to fill the position Mubarak vacated, the presidency. The president is the most powerful official in Egypt, which makes the first free and fair presidential election, scheduled for late May, a landmark event. Accordingly, the election has large implications for the future affairs not only of Egypt and the Middle East, but more broadly the entire world. Yet coverage in the Western media has (for the most part) been scarce, limited to high-level attempts at analyzing a very complex political environment.

This cannot do. Whether we are policy wonks, geopolitics enthusiasts, or simply informed readers, it is incumbent upon us to learn more about this critical issue.

As campaigns unfold and Egyptians prepare to head to the polls, it will be crucial to understand not only who the frontrunners are, but also the reasons for their popularity. For the first time, Egyptians will be able to freely choose their president, and, given the promise of a new democratic Egypt, the driving forces behind their voting patterns may well grow into the driving forces behind domestic and foreign policies. Identifying these issues is key: to understand the future of Egypt, we must understand the Egyptian people’s choices in governance.

As a small step towards this lofty goal, I’m pleased to announce a new project, Egypt Elects. Egypt Elects is a blog maintained with the express purpose of building awareness of the various issues being discussed by candidates and voters. As the campaigns evolve and key issues emerge, the blog will aggregate news and analysis about the candidates and issues shaping the elections.

My hope is to develop a comprehensive and central source for issue-focused information on Egypt’s upcoming presidential election and, by breaking down the candidates and issues at the forefront of these landmark campaigns, to facilitate an open, informed, and honest dialogue surrounding the presidential election and the issues at play.

You can visit Egypt Elects at egyptelectsblog.com, or follow updates on Twitter: @egypt_elects. Content contributions and suggestions for this project are welcomed and encouraged. Send your thoughts and ideas to egyptelects@gmail.com

How much do you trust the information in this article?

James Taylor

James is a policy consultant and freelance journalist currently residing in the Washington, DC area. He covers a range of issues pertaining to the Middle East, most notably the Israeli/Palestinian Conflict.

MORE FROM

President Donald Trump turns Boy Scout Jamboree into campaign rally

The president discussed health care, Hillary Clinton, Obama, big yachts and more to 40,000 Boy Scouts and volunteers

This child kept HIV in remission for 8 years without drugs. Here’s what that really means.

More than eight years after his initial treatment, the child is still in remission.

Driver charged with human trafficking after 30-40 people found locked in fatally hot tractor-trailer

The charge against James Matthew Bradley, the alleged driver of the vehicle, could carry a punishment as severe as the death penalty.

Charlie Gard’s parents end legal fight to continue treatment for terminally ill son

The parents have withdrawn their request for Charlie to receive treatment in the U.S.

10th person dies after 38 found locked in sweltering tractor-trailer outside Texas Walmart

8 were found dead at the scene; 2 more died after being rushed to the hospital in critical or serious condition.

Dozens killed in deadly car bomb attack in Kabul

The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the deadly attack.

President Donald Trump turns Boy Scout Jamboree into campaign rally

The president discussed health care, Hillary Clinton, Obama, big yachts and more to 40,000 Boy Scouts and volunteers

This child kept HIV in remission for 8 years without drugs. Here’s what that really means.

More than eight years after his initial treatment, the child is still in remission.

Driver charged with human trafficking after 30-40 people found locked in fatally hot tractor-trailer

The charge against James Matthew Bradley, the alleged driver of the vehicle, could carry a punishment as severe as the death penalty.

Charlie Gard’s parents end legal fight to continue treatment for terminally ill son

The parents have withdrawn their request for Charlie to receive treatment in the U.S.

10th person dies after 38 found locked in sweltering tractor-trailer outside Texas Walmart

8 were found dead at the scene; 2 more died after being rushed to the hospital in critical or serious condition.

Dozens killed in deadly car bomb attack in Kabul

The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the deadly attack.