Saturday, December 17, 2011

Good News and Bad News

Photo Credit Al Jazeera. Protester shouts slogans during clashes today.

Dear readers

Well with regard to the elections results, there is good news and there is bad news.

Let's start with the less than perfect news first. The FJP and Al Nour continue to lead in the second phase of the People's Assembly elections.

Some bad news is that there is fire in Tahrir. My father was just there. Apparently, some of the field hospitals have been attacked, and twitter is reporting that surgeons are needed. There is a big march to bury Sheikh Emmad Effat, but the Salafis are not present. 

The good news is that the Egyptian Bloc is retaining their position as a solid third. In a first past the post system, like in the US, third does not sound good. But in a partially list based system, third gives the liberal and secular Egyptian Bloc some real power in Parliament.

Al Wafd and Al Wasat are doing well in Sharqiya. Al Nour is dominating in Suez. 

Secular activists have not given up though. As I have said, it is remarkable that the Egyptian Bloc and other moderate and liberal parties are doing this well, particularly considering that they just formed in March. There is real potential for infighting between Salafis and the FJP. As Adel Soliman of the International Center for Future and Strategic Studies points out, the liberal parties will be needed to pass laws or block them.

Several smaller parties are throwing their weight behind the Bloc to show a more united front. (Daily News Egypt 11/12) Members of the Bloc are going into rural areas, and talking to local notables.

I personally think it is a serious mistake that the Revolution Continues refuses to coordinate with the Egyptian Bloc.

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