For undemocratic regimes in a democratic age, elections are an extremely valuable tool. They create opportunities for limited popular participation, disarm domestic and international critics, and enhance political monitoring and control by revealing the relative political strength of government and opposition candidates. Such elections are successful to the extent that they maximize tolerated competition and minimize the residual uncertainty that accompanies even the most managed poll. It is no mystery, then, why authoritarian elites convene elections. The paradox is why they constrain themselves in fixing them.

Limited elections have been an important feature of each of Egypt’s three successive authoritarian regimes. The return to legislative elections in 1957 (sans parties) was a token of the “sound democratic life” promised by Gamal Abdel Nasser and his Free Officers. The return to multi-party elections in 1976 was the central plank of Anwar al-Sadat’s “state of law and institutions.” Since 1984, parliamentary elections have been the cornerstone of Mubarak’s “march to democracy.” However, due to a curious legal rule of 1956 vintage that attained constitutional status in 1971, legislative elections during all three regimes involved judicial personnel. This seemingly unremarkable legal requirement has wrought momentous consequences.

Since 1984, judicial oversight has placed matters of election management and monitoring at the center of each and every parliamentary poll. Sometimes working in tandem and at other times separately, judges, opposition forces and domestic election monitors have turned the 1956 rule into an effective tool in their quest for cleaner, more representative elections. They have done so by advocating both the letter and the spirit of the law. On one hand, they have insisted on the proper execution of the procedures laid down by the rule. On the other, they have capitalized on statutory ambiguity to push for their favored interpretation of the rule’s wording, extending judicial supervision far beyond the intentions of its legal architects. The result: a paradoxical situation where rules originally designed to thwart meaningful elections have been turned into binding mechanisms to ensure the integrity of elections. Unwittingly, authoritarian elites ensnared themselves.

That nitty-gritty election procedures can be as crucial as electoral outcomes was patently obvious during 2005, Egypt’s “year of elections.” The May 25 referendum on amending Article 76 of the 1971 constitution to allow for direct, multi-candidate presidential elections, the resultant presidential elections on September 7 and the November-December parliamentary elections were all occasions for organized domestic mobilization on the issue of election management and monitoring, with discreet international backing. Mobilization centered not only on voting-day activities but also encompassed critical pre-election procedures such as compiling the voter rolls and ensuring the availability and quality of indelible ink, as well as the all-important issue of the integrity of the ballot count. [1]

Leading the campaign for a cleaner vote were Egypt’s judges, represented by their elected leadership in the Judges’ Club (Nadi al-Quda). Judicial mobilization, abetted by citizen activists, was a key motif of the 2005 electoral year, but it did not begin then. How and why judges orchestrated an uncharacteristically high-profile, media-savvy campaign for full supervision in 2005 is a winding story that begins in the legal documents of Nasserist Egypt.

Crafting New Rules

Judicial supervision of elections has its roots in Law 73/1956 Organizing the Exercise of Political Rights. [2] Law 73 codified the Nasserist ethos of popular participation, and as such is best remembered for extending the franchise to women for the first time, lowering the voting age from 21 to 18 and abolishing a host of pre-1952 restrictions on voting and running for office. But the law also contains several additional regulations that over time have proven quite significant. For example, Article 5 specifies that voter registration must occur in the short window from November 1-January 31 of every year, a detail that became salient in the wake of President Husni Mubarak’s February 26, 2005 announcement of his intention to amend the constitution to allow for direct, multi-candidate presidential elections. Some voters expressed dismay that the announcement came after the end of the registration period, while after the elections pundits blamed the law for paltry voter registration rates and called for an overhaul of the unjustifiably narrow registration time frame. [3]

Law 73 also codified the Nasser-era ambivalence about elections, stipulating judicial supervision while at the same time blunting its subversive potential. On one hand, the law falls short of granting judges complete jurisdiction over election management, instead dividing that responsibility between judges and other state officials such as the Minister of the Interior, provincial security agents and members of prosecutorial bodies (Articles 16 and 24). On the other, the law does specify that administrative court judges alone have the power to adjudicate procedural disputes revolving around registration and candidacy (Articles 17 and 19). Ironically, both sets of incentives have been seized upon by judges, opposition and independent candidates, and domestic watchdog groups seeking to ensure the integrity of the vote.

For instance, in the course of each election, administrative courts are inundated with hundreds upon hundreds of routine election-related petitions that are adjudicated with considerable dispatch. In 2005, three such suits stood out, filed by human rights groups intent on monitoring both the presidential and parliamentary poll. On September 6, November 6 and December 3, the Court of the Administrative Judiciary (first circuit) ruled that civil society organizations have the right to enter polling stations, to observe not just vote casting but also ballot counting, and to use closed-circuit television to record the count. As an influential American election monitoring outfit surmised, “The legal battles waged and won in the midst of the presidential campaign set an important precedent for domestic monitoring.” [4] Similarly, the court repeatedly ruled against the ruling National Democratic Party’s practice of bussing in voters using public transportation and the unlawful practice of collective registration: inflating voter lists with individuals who do not reside in the district. [5]

Law 73 still exerts its ambiguous effects on contemporary electoral processes. In 1971, the law’s provision for judicial supervision of elections attained constitutional status. The September 1971 constitution was the keystone of the fledgling Sadat regime’s new rhetoric of democracy and the rule of law, and constitutionalizing judicial supervision of elections bolstered the ostensible commitment to rule of law. Article 88 of the constitution thus mandates that “voting occur under the supervision of members of a judicial body.” The terse yet pregnant wording created an opening for activists and litigants to exploit the political potential of legal ambiguity. Struggles over the meaning of “supervision” (ishraf) and “judicial body” (hay’a qada’iyya) would take center stage in future elections.

Interpreting the Rules

The pivotal, capacious Article 24 of Law 73 grants the Minister of the Interior the power to determine the number of principal and auxiliary polling stations. The article also specifies that the supervisor of each main polling station be a member of a judicial body, though it does not extend this requirement to auxiliary stations, permitting public-sector clerks and other civil servants to oversee those areas. This detail spawned the only instance of successful opposition coordination in Egyptian elections. On October 20, 1990, all of the major opposition parties including the Wafd and the Labor Party affiliated with the Muslim Brothers (but not the leftist Tagammu`) signed a pact to boycott the parliamentary poll in protest at the absence of complete judicial supervision, including auxiliary polling stations.

Disgruntled and resourceful independent candidate Kamal Hamza al-Nasharti took the issue a step further. He seized on the legal lacuna and filed suit after the elections, arguing that Article 24’s assignment of public functionaries to supervise auxiliary polling stations was a violation of Article 88 of the constitution requiring judicial supervision. Non-judicial civil servants lack the requisite impartiality to ensure fair polling procedures, he argued. The administrative court reviewing the case agreed with the plaintiff and referred the case to the Supreme Constitutional Court (SCC), which took ten years to hand down its landmark ruling on July 8, 2000, also siding with al-Nasharti. [6] The court ruled that for judicial supervision to be effective, it must extend beyond main stations to include auxiliary ones as well. The government scrambled to amend Article 24, and a decades-long opposition and judicial demand was finally realized: parliamentary elections were conducted in stages over several weeks to enable the comparatively small number of judges (8,000) to supervise thousands of main and auxiliary polling stations.

But the legal wrangling did not end there. The court ruling left a key item unresolved, namely the definition of a “judicial body” (hay’a qada’iyya). Ever since the 1960s, this vague term had been a persistent node of contention among legal scholars and practitioners, resurfacing during every election as independents and the opposition decried the government’s manipulative electoral practices, most especially the smuggling of non-judicial legal officers into the definition of a “judicial body.” The SCC’s 2000 ruling reignited the debate with a vengeance. Between July, when the SCC ruling was issued, and November, when the parliamentary elections began, debates in newspapers and political salons took place over what and who gets included in the definition of a judicial body.

Legal scholars and practitioners, along with opposition candidates and civil society activists, insisted that a judicial body means only sitting bench judges. Government officials and their legal experts disagreed vociferously, arguing that legal officers in the administrative prosecution and the State Cases Authority (government attorneys) are also legitimate judicial bodies. At issue was a legitimate academic dispute and a pressing matter of regime survival. As legal officers of the executive branch who answer to the Minister of Justice in ordinary times and to the Minister of the Interior at election time, non-judicial legal personnel lack the impartiality and potential for autonomous action that bench judges enjoy and have repeatedly demonstrated. By law, they are professionally and organizationally dependent on executive dictates, perfect accessories to lend elections a patina of legality without compromising certainty of outcome. Hence, a seemingly prissy legal definition had obvious political ramifications.

Naturally, the government insisted on its own definition of the term and deployed thousands of its legal officers to supervise polling stations. Still, the 2000 poll was cleaner than previous elections, returning a parliament with a marginal decrease in ruling party dominance (87.8 percent, down from 90.4 percent in the 1995 parliament) and a relative increase in the representation of Muslim Brothers running as independents (17 seats, up from one in the 1995 parliament). A combination of fierce competition between National Democratic Party (NDP) members and more effective electoral supervision led candidates officially nominated by the NDP to secure only 38 percent of parliamentary seats. To avoid an embarrassing repeat during the spring 2002 municipal elections, NDP leaders engineered very limited supervision, leaving 37,410 auxiliary polling stations unmanned by bench judges. Sure enough, opposition parties boycotted and the ruling party secured all the seats. [7]

The management of the 2000 parliamentary elections had still more subtle, though no less significant consequences. Bench judges experienced numerous instances of harassment and obstruction from security agents, and several engaged in verbal and physical confrontations with police as they protested police blockades of roads to polling stations and intimidation of non-NDP voters. Contrary to Law 73’s stipulation that it is the prerogative of the supervising judge at the polling station to determine the station’s periphery, security agents essentially trapped judges inside polling stations while violence and harassment raged outside. [8] Bench judges’ negative experiences in 2000, coupled with the unresolved controversy over what constitutes a judicial body, laid the groundwork for the fierce electoral contention of 2005.

The Great Ordeal

An election incident haunts Mahmoud Rida al-Khudayri, sitting president of the Alexandria Judges’ Club. In the early 1960s, as a newly minted prosecutor in his 20s, he was tasked with overseeing legislative elections at a polling station in the Delta province of Daqhaliyya. The security chief at the polling station instructed al-Khudayri and his fellow presiding legal officers, “We need these two [candidates] to win. If they don’t, get ready to be retired.” The senior judge brought in to supervise the poll put up a valiant resistance, but to no avail. The election results were fixed. Rooming with al-Khudayri that night before returning to Cairo the next morning, the judge fell extremely ill, heaving and suffering an intense fever. “This large, imposing man was weeping on my chest like a child, extremely shaken by what happened,” recalls al-Khudayri. “The next morning, as we waited for the train in silence, he turned to me and said, ‘I think you must scorn me now, Mahmoud.’ A few months later, he died of a heart attack.” [9]

That elections are a burden that wreaks serious damage upon their personal honor and professional integrity is a widely shared sentiment among Egyptian judges, particularly those among them like al-Khudayri with indelible memories of foul play. “Unfortunately, our history of elections is not an honorable one, and the reality of the election experience in the last few decades has been painful,” reflected retired judge Tariq al-Bishri in the immediate wake of the July 2000 SCC ruling mandating full judicial supervision. [10] In the leadup to the May 25 constitutional referendum in 2005, the specter of past ordeals galvanized judges. At a rousing meeting, Cairo Judges’ Club president Zakariyya `Abd al-`Aziz vowed to defeat the “stigma of elections” tailing judges since the 1950s. [11]

Of primary concern to the judges is the creeping loss of public confidence in the judiciary as a result of its coerced involvement in election rigging. “The judge’s source of strength is the public’s respect and appreciation,” asserts Alexandrian judge Ahmad Makki, a major figure in judges’ mobilization during 2005. “When a citizen sees me in the polling station, it should be the same way that he sees me in the courtroom, as an authoritative and fair arbitrator.” [12] Judge Husam al-Ghiryani, much esteemed among younger judges and looked upon as a role model, concurs, “It used to be that every father would tell his son, ‘I want you to grow up to be a judge.’ That is the judge’s role, to be a leader in society.” [13] But the fear gripping judges goes beyond simple status anxiety. They are motivated by the prospect of further deterioration of an already afflicted justice system if its key administrators lose public trust.

Potent as it is, however, judicial discontent remains an insufficient explanation for the judicial mobilization in 2005. After all, judges had long warned of compromises to their impartiality if they are not granted undistorted election supervision. For at least 20 years, they had issued painstaking proposal after proposal detailing the amendments to Law 73 required to render judicial supervision meaningful. [14] Why did they up the ante in 2005, first threatening an election boycott, and then participating in full force but on their own terms? The root causes reside in the structure of executive-judicial relations over the past 15 years, a subterranean struggle for autonomy and control that finally bubbled to the surface in 2005.

Executive-judicial relations got off to a good start at the beginning of Mubarak’s tenure with the passage of Law 35/1984 returning the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) after its abolition by the Nasser regime in 1969. The SJC is a liaison institution between executive and judiciary that each branch naturally seeks to tweak to augment its own power. Judges invoke its historical pedigree as an independent institution of judicial peers who manage judicial appointments and promotions, an autonomous budget and full control over disciplinary affairs, away from the designs of the Ministry of Justice. The executive, for its part, has always sought influence over the institution by controlling its composition and mandate. The Judges’ Club (established in 1939) was born in this tug of war between the two state branches as a vehicle to aggregate judicial opinion and forward negotiation with the Ministry of Justice. In the early 1990s, executive attempts to control the judiciary began in earnest, and the SJC was perceived by many judges to be a tool of the Ministry of Justice. Hence their current demands for a new law that would overturn the current practice of appointing judges to the SJC by the Ministry of Justice and replace it with election by court general assemblies. The core demands of the judges are an autonomous, elected SJC that manages the affairs of the judiciary and the retention of the Judges’ Club as a separate professional association. [15] The 2005 elections merged two parallel judicial struggles: the quest for clean elections and the quest for judicial independence.

Rulers, Rules and Resistance

Contests over election procedures were as central to the 2005 elections as their often surprising outcomes. While the executive branch and the NDP devised legal rules and institutions that they said would guarantee fair elections, the Judges’ Club, domestic monitoring groups, and the independent and opposition media met the rules not only with withering criticism but concerted action and legal challenge. The government began its legal maneuvering a year before the elections, moving to shut down the controversy over who gets included in the definition of a judicial body. In a highly publicized request for interpretation, President Mubarak referred the matter to the SCC. On March 7, 2004, the SCC, headed by Mamdouh Mar`i, returned an opinion that shocked legal experts. Mar`i argued that government attorneys and administrative prosecutors are indeed part of legitimate judicial bodies and as such can be entrusted with supervising elections. An NDP politician praised this and a package of other SCC decisions. “The verdicts will greatly help the organization of next year’s parliamentary elections in a climate clear of any irregularities or disputes which used to mar previous elections, and which the opposition exploited to charge that elections are rigged.” [16]

Meanwhile, on March 12, 2004, judicial discontent reached a fever pitch with an extraordinary general assembly convened to deliberate on an unprecedented intra-judicial incident. Fathi Khalifa, president of the SJC, had issued a written “warning” (tanbih) to senior judge Husam al-Ghiryani for “disparaging the decisions of the SJC.” Judges were affronted by the transparent attempt to silence an esteemed judge, and al-Ghiryani received a prolonged standing ovation. The incident rekindled debate over the purview of the SJC, and the stage was set for conflict during 2005.

In 2005, the judges’ first public signal that they would have no truck with fraudulent elections came in a rousing April general assembly meeting of the Alexandria Judges’ Club in which al-Ghiryani and others took the podium to assert that they would stand strong against falsifying voters’ will. A month later in Cairo, on May 13, thousands of judges from all over Egypt met in an extraordinary general assembly to specify their conditions for clean elections ahead of the May 25 referendum on amending Article 76 of the constitution.

The violence against protesters of the Kifaya (Enough) movement on referendum day captured international headlines, but the government insisted on the orderliness of polling in the rest of the country and claimed a turnout of 54 percent. The day’s events led to weekly protests on Wednesdays by Kifaya and its supporters that lasted throughout the summer, drawing much media attention and varying levels of popular protest. But what was soon dubbed “Black Wednesday” by the opposition spawned two additional instances of election-related mobilization. English teacher Ghada Shahbandar founded a cyber-savvy, independent citizen monitoring group called Shayfeenkom (We See You) to oversee the autumn presidential and parliamentary poll. Then, in July, the Judges’ Club issued a report based on its fact-finding mission on conduct of the referendum, the first report of its kind. The nine-page document challenged government turnout figures and claims of full judicial supervision, finding that auxiliary polling stations were still manned by government clerks and that real turnout ranged from 3-5 percent. The report included testimonials by some judges and legal officers who admitted to faulty procedures. [17]

Amending the constitution to allow for direct multi-candidate presidential elections was the centerpiece of the Mubarak government’s political strategy in 2005, though no one in Egypt or abroad expected a real contest. The surprises lay elsewhere: in Ghad Party president Ayman Nour’s garnering of second place with 7 percent of the vote, and the enormous fuss raised over the election management body. While the state-owned press reveled in the simple citizens who expressed gratitude and delight with President Mubarak by filing applications for presidential candidacy (including one woman), domestic monitoring groups and the opposition pored over the details of election procedure. Law 174/2005 on presidential elections established a Presidential Election Commission (PEC) headed by the selfsame Mamdouh Mar`i, four judges and five “public figures known for their impartiality,” to be chosen by both houses of Parliament. Critics charged that not only was the inclusion of “public figures” a transparent move to pack the PEC with government loyalists, but that the PEC’s absolute immunity from any form of oversight by any institution (Article 12) violated the constitutional right of litigation (Article 68).

Two highly controversial actions by chairman Mar`i galvanized public mistrust of what came to be called the “imperial” PEC. First, Mar`i inexplicably decided to exclude some 1,700 judges from supervising presidential elections. Then, he made a public statement disregarding the September 6 administrative court ruling allowing civil society groups to monitor the vote. A day later, Mar`i reversed his decision. That one of Egypt’s three most high-ranking judges would cavalierly dismiss a widely hailed court ruling and then abruptly backtrack reinforced suspicions that the PEC was a legal front to dilute full judicial supervision rather than an impartial management body designed to bolster election integrity. As with the May 25 referendum, the Judges’ Club issued a report in November detailing its criticisms of the presidential elections. A report of the International Republican Institute argues that the Club’s report “deserves credit for some of the procedural changes that were made in advance of the parliamentary elections, including the removal of polling stations from police stations, reducing the number of voters assigned to each polling site to facilitate voting, and the use of indelible ink in all polling stations.” [18]

The parliamentary elections from November 9-December 7 saw unceasing action by judges and monitoring groups to ensure a clean vote, especially during the second and third phases when violence by NDP supporters and security forces against opposition candidates and voters led to 11 deaths. The leadership of the Judges’ Club consistently communicated its concerns to Minister of Justice Mahmoud Abu al-Layl (head of a new Parliamentary Elections Commission), monitored the situation on the ground in particularly hard-fought electoral battles, and vigilantly invoked proper electoral procedures. The most dramatic instance of this came on November 22, when the Judges’ Club issued a widely publicized statement framed as “Egypt Judges Seek Army Protection.” [19] In fact, the statement was invoking Article 26 of Law 73/1956, which empowers the head of a polling station to call in police or armed forces to maintain order. The statement surmised that since police “were unable or unwilling to perform their duties, the Judges’ Club calls on the Election Commission to seek aid from the armed forces to secure the conduct of elections.”

There is only one certainty about future Egyptian parliamentary, municipal and professional union elections. They will all feature conflict between executive and judicial authorities over managing the poll. Bound by the rules, executive authorities will seek to neutralize judicial involvement and minimize unpleasant surprises. For their part, bench judges and their allies will lean on the rules to justify and expand their control. Moreover, the intensity of judicial mobilization during future elections will be a direct reflection of the intensity of conflict between the judiciary and executive over vital issues of autonomy and control. Elections thus promise to be a time of acute intra-state turf wars over the distribution of power between state branches. There is already an emergent demand among judges to give courts binding authority to settle disputes over parliamentary membership (Article 93 in the constitution). Add this to an ambient constitutionalist consensus on disciplining presidential powers, and the irony is hard to miss. Like so many authoritarian projects across time and space, elections in Egypt have become a fulcrum of both rhetorical and material contention over the basics of regime legitimacy and control.

Playing By the Rules

The story of limited elections in Egypt is an object lesson in the subversive potential of legal formalism. Originally designed to disarm challengers and dress up electoral engineering in legal garb, electoral rules have instead boomeranged on their tailors, anchoring rather than fragmenting societal mobilization for clean polls. By insinuating courts and judges into the electoral process, election rules have spawned a cascade of unpredicted developments. In 2005, it was judicial collective action on a scale unseen in Egypt’s republican history, and the largest share of opposition seats in parliament since the 1976 poll. In 2000, it was the SCC ruling on judicial supervision. In 1995, it was the first effective monitoring effort by domestic watchdog groups. In 1990, it was the first and only opposition boycott.

Yet might not all this legal wrangling be ultimately ineffectual and hopelessly drawn out? Indeed, one can argue that the struggles described here are in fact good for the state’s image, with minimal costs for state power. [20] Short-term turbulence does not shake resilient regimes, and momentary crises are always allayed by shrewdly dispensed doles of cooptation and repression. If one’s interest is in dramatic, sudden, wholesale regime change, then indeed Egyptian elections are insipid affairs, of little consequence to regime survival but a useful sop to domestic and international critics. However, regime dynamics are about much more than the reductive poles of change or persistence. Ruling coalitions and their strategies change, modes of societal interest representation continually metamorphose, social conflict migrates to unexpected arenas and changes at the margins can transform the center. The Mubarak regime of 1984 is not the one of 1995, which is still more distinct from the 2005 incarnation. The same man has occupied the presidency for 25 years, but the regime he has steered and the complex society they contend with are in perpetual construction, atrophy and reinvention. Seen from this vantage point, elections are not more of the same; they are hard-fought contests over the distribution of social power within and beyond the state.

Authoritarian regimes work by combining uncertain procedures with near-certain political results. However, some of these regimes develop elaborate judicial systems and legal procedures that may end up unwittingly providing opportunities for varieties of societal petitioning. [21] By insisting on the legal armature of limited elections, Egyptian judges, opposition candidates and domestic monitors have worked to undermine the authoritarian equation, establishing certain procedures in order to maximize the uncertainty of results. In so doing, they have demonstrated that in the details of authoritarian laws and statutes lurks the devil of anti-authoritarian mobilization. “Form creates content” (al-shakl yikhlaq madamin) is the oft-heard refrain among Egypt’s patient anti-authoritarians.


[1] For more details, see the seminar convened by the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights in May 2005 bringing together judges and civil society activists to hammer out specific procedural guidelines for elections. A transcript is accessible online at
[2] The text of the amended law can be found at the Arab Election Law Compendium, accessible online at
[3] Associated Press, March 26, 2005; al-Ahram Weekly, January 10-18, 2006.
[4] International Republican Institute, 2005 Parliamentary Election Assessment in Egypt, November 15-21, 2005 (Washington, DC, 2005), p. 9.
[5] Ibid., p. 12.
[6] Supreme Constitutional Court ruling on Case 11 in the Thirteenth Judicial Year, published in the official gazette on July 22, 2000.
[7] Al-Ahram Weekly, April 4-10, 2002.
[8] In preparation for the 2005 elections, Judges’ Club board member Ahmad Sabir detailed his and other judges’ experiences in 2000. See Ahmad Sabir, “Judges Supervise Elections Despite the Absence of Guarantees,” al-Quda (September 2003-August 2004). [Arabic] [9] Interview with Mahmoud Rida al-Khudayri, Alexandria, January 7, 2006.
[10] Tariq al-Bishri, “The Egyptian Judiciary and the Ordeal of Elections,” in Yahya al-Rifa`i, The Independence of the Judiciary and the Ordeal of Elections (Cairo: al-Maktab al-Misri al-Hadith, 2000), p. 203. [Arabic] [11] Videotaped proceedings of the extraordinary general assembly convened at the Judges’ Club on May 13, 2005.
[12] Interview with Ahmad Makki, Alexandria, January 7, 2006.
[13] Interview with Husam al-Ghiryani, Alexandria, January 1, 2006.
[14] Two key documents are the recommendations issued after the first Justice Conference in 1986, and the recommendations issued by the Judges’ Club general assembly on June 27, 1990. Both are reproduced in The Independence of the Judiciary and the Ordeal of Elections, pp. 243-300.
[15] Interview with Hisham al-Bastawisi, Cairo, December 26, 2005.
[16] Al-Ahram Weekly, March 11-17, 2004.
[17] The report was widely published in independent and opposition newspapers and on the Internet. See the full text in al-`Arabi, July 3, 2005.
[18] International Republican Institute, op cit, pp. 10-11.
[19] United Press International, November 23, 2005.
[20] Holger Albrecht, “How Can Opposition Support Authoritarianism? Lessons from Egypt,” Democratization (June 2005).
[21] Charles Tilly, Contention and Democracy in Europe, 1650-2000 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), p. 57.

How to cite this article:

Mona El-Ghobashy "Egypt’s Paradoxical Elections," Middle East Report 238 (Spring 2006).

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