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Egypt's Elections 2014

Posted on the 05 May 2014 by Warigia @WarigiaBowman

Egypt's elections 2014

Secretary of State Kerry, and my old boss, Nabil Fahmy, now Egyptian Foreign Minister.


Things do not look so good in Egypt. The country has strayed fairly far from the goals of the Revolution, in my opinion. I am really hoping to go to Egypt some time in June.
Egypt is becoming increasingly dependent on financial inflows from the Gulf. Gulf Inflows (Cargnegie Endowment). This is a problem for several reasons. Egypt has traditionally been a relatively secular, politically moderate state, with a strong Sunni heritage, but a tolerance for multi-culturalism. The Gulf states, by contrast, particularly the wealthy Saudi Arabia tend to observe Wahabiism. Wahabis are much stricter, much more puritanical, and much more missionary than mainline Sunnis. (Compare evangelicals to Methodists for example) This financial dependency could push Egypt into a more radical position culturally, and a much less tolerant position.
Egypt tentatively has scheduled presidential elections in May. The IMF, according to Carnegie, has bought into the "restoration of democracy" narrative postulated by the Egyptian government. Personally, I do not see how a coup by the military doth democracy make. Here is a good quote.
There is also historic precedent for dealing with Egypt regardless of its domestic political climate. The IMF dealt with former president Hosni Mubarak as compensation for Egyptian support for coalition forces during the First Gulf War, whose government by then had a less than optimal record on human rights, civil governance, and transparency. The g eopolitical reasons for reengaging with Egypt today are equally profound. Despite public censure, western actors—notably the United States and European Union—by and large need Egypt to maintain pressure on armed Islamist groups in the Sinai and to remain a buffer against the larger destabilization of the region caused by the prolonged conflict in Syria. Western actors also want Egypt to not seek rival sponsors, such as Russia, whose recent arms agreement with Egypt buttresses speculation that Cairo is moving away from Washington.
Happy Monday. 
~WMB

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