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Egyptian Expatriates Can Now Vote (perhaps), Women Organize, and Egypt Above All

Posted on the 26 October 2011 by Warigia @WarigiaBowman

This report is compiled from my morning review of the Daily News Egypt, Al Ahram Online, and Al Masry Al Youm. This review was conducted over ahwa bi laban. Meanwhile, Tahrir is busy as "low-ranking (AFP's words, not mine) policemen strike in Hurghada and outside the Interior ministry in Cairo to demand  the ouster of elements of the former regime, and improved pay.
In big news reported by all papers Egyptian expatriates now may, sort of, perhaps have the right to vote. Justice Abdel Salam Al-Naggar of the Administrative Court ruled that electoral headquarters should be established in Egyptian embassies around the world. A lawsuit was brought by a group of expatriates that included famous novelist Ahdaf Soueif. The Egyptian vote abroad movement was organized partly using social media, including Facebook, and twitter.
Mohamed ElBaradei talked about the matter before the revolution. Approximately 8 million Egyptians live abroad. Apparently, after the Revolution, numerous Egyptians began to register at Egyptian embassies in their host countries. It is not clear if the SCAF will respect the court's ruling.  This ruling is not likely to translate immediately into implementation, and it is not clear if it will be applicable for the upcoming parliamentary elections.
Al Ahram points out that women in Egypt are organizing. Before the Revolution, women in the farming sector were forbidden from organizing. Female peasants in Imbaba district's Werdan village formed the first union for women farmers in Egypt this week. They aim to defend womens' rights in the sector, and fight for equal treatment of male and female workers in the agricultural sector. I am hopeful that this increased level of organization spills over into the political arena. 
Mahmoud Ramzy of Al Masry reports that a newly formed coalition has formed supporting Field Marshall Tantawi, current president of the SCAF, as president of the Egypt. Posters have appeared in Cairo and Alexandria. The campaign is called "Egypt Above All." Gallows humor moment: I am fluent in German, and if we translate that phrase into German, it reads Aegypten ueber alles. Not good.
Rana Khazbak reports that The Revolution Continues Coalition is composed of the January 25th Revolution Youth Coalition and six other parties, including the Socialist Popular Alliance Party, the Freedom Egypt Party, and the Islamist Egyptian Current Party (a radical youth breakoff of the MB). They aim to filed 270 candidates on party lists, and 20 individual candidates. Sixty of the coalition's candidates are women, and more than fifty percent are young people. The ideological scale of the group is predominantly leftist, but it also includes an Islamist party.
Meanwhile, Nate Wright reports that the centrist El Adl party will compete in the parliamentary elections alone. It has refused to join the MB dominated Democratic Alliance, or the Egyptian Bloc led by liberals. The party wants to move away from patronage, and towards changing ideology.
Noha El-Hennawy reports that the MB will use the slogan "We bring good for Egypt." This is a move away from their earlier slogan "Islam is the Solution." The MB heads the Democratic Alliance, which includes 11 parties. The Freedom and Justice party will now run for all seats in parliament, because of the current list based system. This contradicts a promise that they made not to run for more than 50 percent of seats earlier this year. Heba Fahmy of the Daily News says the the Democratic Alliance List includes 76 women and 2 Copts. About half of the female candidates are on the top of the list.
Finally, Heba Fahmy tells us that the political parties found the list candidacy system this weekend very disorganized and difficult, but those vying for individual seats had no problems. Okay, now I am exhausted, and my coffee is finished.

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