Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Cairo's 6th District

Paper Youm 7 is reporting that

"The Freedom and Justice Party has won 70 percent of the votes in Cairo's 6th district, according to FJP official Osama Sedky. He said the FJP was followed by the Egyptian Bloc, the Continuing Revolution list, and al-Wafd Party."

It looks like a woman has a strong chance in Cairo's 6th District. Independent candidate Gameela Ismail has made a strong showing. The Free Egyptians are also polling well.

Egypt Election Q and A

Here are some good resources on the Egyptian election

Carnegie Endowment Electing a New Egypt.

Arabist Egyptian Election Page

Al Jazeera Infographic on Egyptian Elections 

New York Times Revolution and Aftermath

Here is a review of the basics:

There are 27 Governorates in Egypt. Egypt has a population of 80 million. 50 million persons are eligible to vote. Expatriates in possession of an Egyptian passport can vote at their local consulate.

The People's Assembly elections will be held on November 28th-29th (Kafr El Sheikh, Port Said, Damietta, Cairo, Helwan, Alexandria) December 14, 2011, (Beni Suef, Giza, Ismailiya, Beheira, Suez, Sohag Qena, Luxor, Aswan, Sharqiya, Menoufiya) and finally January 3, 2012 (Marsa Matrouh, Minya. New Valley, North Sinai, South Sinai). Full results for the lower house will likely be announced after January.

The Shura Council elections will be held on January 29th, February 14th, and March 4th in the same sequence.

The date of the Presidential election has not yet been decided.

The election is a mixture of a closed list system (2/3), and a first past the post single winner system (1/3). Here is my explanation of that system. The Book of Lists

I have just updated my list of which parties are running women in large numbers or high positions. Please take a look. Which Egyptian parties represent women?

Furthermore, each list must contain individuals certified as either "workers" or "farmers," a holdover from the Nasserist era.

Here is my discussion of blocs. Egyptian political blocs

Predictions: I predict (Just a hunch. Just a gamble)
  • Muslim Brotherhood will win 30%  of the seats in the People's Assembly. 
  • El Adl will also be a big winner, taking about 15% of seats.
  • I expect all Copts and many Muslim liberals and leftists to vote for the Egyptian Bloc, or the Revolution Continues Bloc. Those groups should win about 15% each. 
  • The remaining seats will be divided between Al Nour, Wasat, El Wafd, and a variety of other parties and individuals.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tear Gas in Tahrir

I have personal, eyewitness information on the tear gas situation. This post is a bit delayed, but important.

Many reports have been issued by the protesters that the tear gas used in Tahrir was much stronger than that on January 25th. There are claims that the tear gas is CS, and can irritate skin, eyes, and mucous membranes. CS gas causes skin problems, raises blood pressure, and can eventually lead to cancer, and even severe injury or death.

How's Business, Tear Gas Economy Flourishes in Tahrir Square.

Study Alleges Tear Gas Used on Protesters Potentially Lethal.

Here is what I know, first hand.

I had a guest from America, Don B. He arrived on November 17th and left on November 28th. He went with his tour guide, Waleed, who is an egyptologist and a revolutionary, to Tahrir Square. Unfortunately, they got a little too close to Mohammed Mahmoud street, on November 22d, which was a police/protest battle-zone. They got gassed at close range.

Of course, they had the typical symptoms of stinging eyes and trouble breathing. But there was an additional symptom indicating that there was something really bad in that tear gas. On the parts of his body not covered by clothing, his skin began to be covered by a bad red rash. Over the course of a few days, his skin became inflamed, and even began to ooze a little pus.

We got fairly worried and took him to a pharmacist in Luxor. We explained that he had been tear gassed. The pharmacist prescribed something called triderm which had an antibiotic in it. The skin on my friends face dried up, and eventually peeled off. We were very lucky that we found a knowledgeable pharmacist.

Pretty harrowing evidence that the tear gas used in Tahrir was much stronger than normal.

Day one of Egyptian election peaceful

Egyptian woman voting. Photo credit Al Masry Al Youm.

The first day of the election has gone by smoothly.

Here are some impressionistic reactions from friends and acquaintances.

A young lady at the busstop who voted at Tagamoo (near El Rehab in New Cairo) said she waited in line for five hours. She got in line at 7 a.m., but the polls did not open until 11:30. She mentioned that men and women voted in different schools. She said by the end of the time period, people started to argue. She was in a school where only women were voting, but they started to argue. She said there was heavy security provided by the military, the police, as well as lagaan shabaaya.

One of the administrative assistants to the law department at AUC said she voted in Nasr City. She also waited in line for hours. She said there was no bathroom. She said that the polls opened late, and that people started to argue because some young people cut in line towards the end.

One of my graduate students voted in downtown, near Tahrir. She said it was very safe, and there was a lot of security provided by the military police. She said voting went quickly and easily.

The parliamentary election continues today. 


Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Rest of Egypt

I know it is hard to believe, but outside Tahrir, life goes on as usual. The only thing that is frustrating is the constant disruption in schedules.

I spent the last few days in Luxor and Aswan, and it is very peaceful there, with a sizeable number of European tourists. Also, where I live, in El Rehab in Cairo, it is quiet.

AUC will close tomorrow for the elections. 


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

No curfew but daily life disrupted

It is 2:34. I have to leave because they are shutting down the university. At first I thought it was a curfew, but a colleague who is very politically connected says there is no curfew. A student tells me it is because the protest is expected to be huge and really snarl up traffic, which is already bad enough in Cairo.

I got a dramatic call from my children's daycare asking me to come right away to get them. My daughter's school, New Cairo British International School sent my daughter home early, at one o clock, as well.

Tally on the three AUC students is that one was arrested, and then released, Rahim. One was shot, he was short near the eye, but not in the eye. It was a rubber bullet, and he was expected to regain his sight. He was spotted wandering around the campus yesterday, a minor celebrity. I do not know the status of the third student.

Al Ahram (state owned) is reporting that numbers are swelling in Tahrir. It estimates that there are close to 20,000 people in the square right now. Al Masry Al Youm (independent) is reporting that the Egyptian stock exchange has halted due to the political crisis. It also reports that thousands are heading to Tahrir.

Here is who is in and who is out!

Jama'a al-Islamiya : attending
The Salafi-led Nour Party: attending
Freedom and Justice Party, (MB): Not attending
Egyptian Current Party:  attending
Socialist Popular Alliance Party: attending 
April 6 Youth Movement:  attending
Peaceful Change Front:  attending
Union of Revolutionary Youth:  attending
Egyptian Social Democratic Party: attending  

Okay, I need a break from all the excitement. Back in a few days. Good luck to the revolutionaries. Praying for peace. ~WMB

#Free Rahim

Detained AUC student Ahmed Abdel Rahim was released last night, Ilhamdulilah. I have one of my students out in Tahrir, and I am worried about her.

I made my students do a safety tree last night. Everyone in the class had to get the cell numbers of the two people to their left and to their right. I gave my students my phone number, land line and cell, and made them write it down. I will keep a hard copy in my purse. 

Remember that the internet and the cell phones went down in the Revolution. You could not call out on a landline, but you could call internally, and people could call from outside the country to check on you.

Several AUC vehicles in Tahrir were set on fire, including one in front of the Greek Campus library. The Greek campus was not seriously damaged. Some staff have been exposed to tear gas. Intruders have stolen some computer equipment, armed robbers, protesters and military police have invaded the AUC Tahrir campus. It has been closed for nearly a week.


Tahrir peaceful and protest growing

I have a friend in from town. He is going to the Egyptian Museum today. The tour guide, Waleed, went to Tahrir this morning, and says it is peaceful, and crowded. He participated in the January 25th Revolution. He said we should expect close to one million people in Tahrir by the end of the day. People are streaming in from everywhere.

Waleed and my friend were in Fayoum yesterday, and they said the people there are opposed to the military.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Just how bad is it?

Nobody really knows how bad the political situation in Egypt is. The last report I heard was that 35 people had been killed in Tahrir, and over 1000 injured seriously.

The AUC campus at Tahrir is closed. There have been reports that the library was burned. Hill house, the bookstore and the science building have broken glass.

The UNDP offices downtown are closed and people are working from home.

One AUC student Ahmed Abdel Rahim, was arrested in Tahrir Square yesterday. He is being detailed at the Kasr El Aini police station. AUC is trying to get him released and keep him safe.

As many as 4000 protesters are in Tahrir. They are not all Islamists. One of my students from my essentials of public policy class is there. Thirty Seven (37) revolutionary groups have demanded the resignation of Essam Sherif's government and the transfer of power to an elected civilian government by May 2012.

Clashes continue in Tahrir Square November 21, 2011

Clashes in Tahrir Square weekend of November 20th. Photo Credit Amr Abdalla.
If you are reading this blog, I assume you know that there have been clashes in Tahrir since Friday. The AUC campus at Tahrir is closed, and one AUC student is being held in police custody.

Short Version. The elections are coming up. They are scheduled on November 28th. On Friday the 18th, a large protest against the document regarding supra-constitutional principles was scheduled by Islamists. The protesters decided to camp out overnight. Riot police streamed into the square trying to break up the sit in. Police beat and arrested activists. More protesters poured into the square, supporting those who had been attacked. Police used tear gas and fired bullets. Protesters currently control Tahrir. The protesters are demanding the ouster of Field Marshal Tantawi.

Here is Al Masry Al Youm's (an independent paper) blow by blow. Second death reported in Alexandria, clashes continue in Cairo.

Here is Al Ahram's version. Al Ahram is owned by the government. Revolutionaries Recapture Tahrir in a Replay of January Uprising.

I was at Khan al Khallili yesterday, and we saw many many tanks drive by with armed soldiers on the way to Tahrir.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

What seats are Egyptian political blocs running for?

There are 46 electoral districts for party based lists in Egypt.  There are 83 districts covered by the individual single-winner electoral system.
There are four main electoral blocs, which span the political spectrum. Although Egypt does have a left, I believe it is inaccurate, in my view, to say it has a "right," as that concept is understood in Europe. It has a secular side and a more fundamentalist religious side.


Egyptian Bloc: Free Egyptians (Free Enterprise), Egyptian Social Democratic Party, Tagmmu Party (old school leftist)
The Revolution Continues: Socialist Popular Alliance Party, Egyptian Socialist Party, Egypt Freedom (Amr Hamzawy), Equality and Development, Egyptian Current, Revolution Youth Coalition


Democratic Alliance: (12 parties) Muslim Brotherhood, Ghad Party, Al-Karama (Nasserist)
Islamist Alliance: Nour Party (Salafis), Asala, the Salafist Current, the Construction and Development Party (Al-Jamaa Al-Islamiya)
What seats are the blocs running for? 

Given that there are 46 party list districts, if a party is running in more districts than this, it means they are running individual candidates. 

The Egyptian Bloc will run 233 candidates in unified electoral lists, to contest seats in 64 electoral districts. 10 % Tagammu, 40% SDP, 50 % Free Egyptians.

The Revolution Continues will field 300 candidates in 34 electoral districts. 250 candidates will run on unified electoral lists, and 34 for the people's assembly will run on independent seats, and 26 for the Shura Council will run independently.

The Democratic Alliance  (Islamists) will field 498 candidates and is competing in all electoral districts around the country.The Democratic Alliance will be running on unified lists in all electoral districts across the countries. Seats will be divided based on the relative political weight of each party, and how much it contributes to the success of the overall list. FJP candidates make up 70 percents of the slots on the unified lists for the democratic alliance. FJP candidates make up 90 percent of the candidates for the independent seats. 

The Wafd Party has fielded 332 list-based candidates in 46 electoral constituencies, and 96 individual candidates in 83 constituencies for the upcoming elections.  Four former members of the NDP were nominated by the Wafd in the Red Sea, Qena, Minya and Sharqiya.

Wasat (Moderate Islamist/Brotherhood Offshoot) will field 402 candidates. 332 will be on party lists. 70 will run as independents.

Word on the street

Well, regarding the Egyptian elections, gossip and innuendo is rife. Here is what I am hearing. This is TOTALLY unscientific, but very interesting, nonetheless.

My daughter's daycare teacher thinks that it is a mistake to push the military out. She says that the military is the last institution standing in Egypt, and that it is a mistake to try to get rid of them. She believes there are outside forces encouraging the youth to battle the military. Perhaps these outside forces are from Qatar or Saudi Arabia in her view.

My research assistant is very brilliant and hardworking. Her family is going to vote Muslim Brotherhood (Freedom and Justice Party) because they are organized, and they do a lot of charity.

An extremely educated and experienced political activist and journalist warned that she is very worried about the potential for violence during the election.

AUC has decided to shut down the entire university for the first round of elections on November 28th for security reasons.


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Which Egyptian parties represent women and Copts and young people?

Post updated on December 7, 2011

The purpose of this post is to compile research on which Egyptian parties represent women and Copts and young people.

Women in Egypt have historically been politically marginalized. Interviews conducted with two prominent Egyptian women, one journalist, one UN staff, indicated their concern that women would take between 1% and 3% of seats in People's Assembly and the Shura in this first election. According to UN Women, " In the first stage, 2366 candidates are competing over the individual seats including 149 women and 2217 men, which mean that women represent (6.2%) only of the total number of candidates running on the 56 individual seats for the 9 governorates."

The old parliament was largely powerless. It did have a quota for women. The new electoral system does not have a quota. However,  the new electoral law says that each proportional list must have at least one woman. (Yasmine Fathi, "Will women make it into Egypt's upcoming Parliament?," Ahram Online,  October 20, 2011.) Updated November 22, 2011.

Please remember that the lower you are on a list, the less likely you are to get elected. Accordingly, it is fair to say that parties which place women high on a list, particularly in slots 1-3, are really interested in getting them elected. Conversely, if the women are at the very bottom of the list, the party may be uninterested in getting them elected.

This just in. We (Myself and Heba Galal, my amazing student) have gone through the facebook pages of MB, El Adl and Al Nour, and seen where they have women on their lists. I have highlighted lists where women are in the top half, and therefore have a great chance of winning. This is what we have found. Updated November 30th, 2011. 12:23 a.m.

  • El Adl seems to have a fairly high number of women on their lists, in my opinion. They are running 24 women out of 13 lists. As many as 8 women are near the top of the lists. El Adl also has some Christians.
  • The Muslim Brotherhood seems to have slightly more than the bare minimum of women on their lists. They are running 38 women out of 37 lists analyzed. Two women are near top of the lists. (9 lists still need to be analyzed.)
  • It is rumored that some of the women on Al Nour's list are fakes, and are just the mothers or the sisters of party members, to meet the legal requirement. 
  • The Egyptian Bloc: On 42 lists, they have 43 women. 9 women are at the top of their lists.The Bloc also has many Christians.

Freedom and Justice Party/Muslim Brotherhood.
The MB is incredibly organized, and has almost all of their candidates listed on their facebook page. Almost all of their list have at least one woman. In general, the women are in the bottom half or bottom third of the lists. However, occasionally, a woman is in a high position.

List (People's Assembly) (Two women at top of Lists)

1.Cairo. The initial list. One woman, Abeer Hussein Osman. Rank, 9 out of 10 candidates.
2. Cairo. The second list. One woman, Manal Mohammed Abu Hassan, Rank 5 out of 8 candidates.
3. Cairo. The third list. One woman, Nagva Abdel Mawla, Rank 6 out of 8 candidates.
4. Cairo. The fourth list. One woman, Omaima full Abdul Hai, Rank 5 out of 10 candidates.
5. Giza. The initial list. One woman, Samah Said Ahmed Abdel Khalek, Rank 9 out of 10 candidates.
6. Giza, the second list. One woman, Azza Mohamed Ibrahim Elgref, Rank 4 out of 10 candidates.
7. Alexandria. The initial list. One woman, Bushra Mohamed Alsmona, Rank 3 out of 6 candidates.
8. Alexandria. The second list. One woman, Khadija Mohamed Fahmy, Rank 9 out of 10 candidates.
9. Beheira. The initial list. One woman, Manal Ismail, Rank 5 out of 12.
10. Beheir. The second list. One woman, Hafsa Atef Schumann, Rank 7 out of 8.
11. Dakhalia, the initial list. One woman, Siham Abdel-Latif Jamal, Rank 2 out of 8.
12. Dakhalia, the second list. One woman, Noha Mohram Karam Ibrahim Jaballah, Rank 7 out of 8.
13. Dakhalia, the third list. One woman, Professor Faiza Ahmed, Rank 7 out of 8.
14. Gharbia, the initial list. One woman, Abeer Adel Abbas El Menshawi, Rank 6 out of 10.
15. Gharbia, the second list. One woman, Hanan Hamdi Hassan Samak, Rank 7 out of 10.
16. Assiut, the initial list. One woman, Fatima Abdul Rahim Abdul Rahman, Rank 7 out of 8.
17. Assiut, the second list. One woman, Entsar Mahmoud Sayed ElSherif, Rank 7 out of 8.
18. Ismailia, One woman, Zeinab Ali Mustafa, Rank 3 out of 4.
19. Suez, One woman, Azza Ismail Mohammed, Rank 3 out of 4.
20. Sharqia, the initial list, One woman, Wegaa Hisham Kabeel, rank 10 out of 10.
21. Sharqia, the second list, one woman, Hana El Said Saleh Hassanin, rank 10 out of 10.
22. Fayoum, the initial list, one woman, Nadia Tawfiq Suleiman Khalil, rank 8 out of 8.
23. Fayoum, the second list, one woman, Ahalam Eid Barakat, rank 4 out of 4.
24. Qalubiya, the initial list, one woman, Huda Abdullah Abul Qadr, rank 4 out of 4.
25. Qalubiya, the second list, one woman, Hoda Abdel-Rahman Mohammed Anwar, Rank 3 out of 8.
26. Menoufia, one woman, Nabila Ali Moussa Motweh, rank 8 out of 8.
27. New Valley, one woman, Mervat Said Abdo, Rank 4 out of 4.
28. Beni Suef, one woman, Fatima Mahmoud Marzouk, Rank 4 out of 8.
29. Port Said, one woman, Sahar Mohamed Khudairi, rank 3 out of 4.
30. South Sinai, one woman, Amira Abdel Hamid Taha, rank 4 out of 4.
31. Damietta, two women, Fakry Adham Abdel Razak, Etmaad Mohamed Zagloul, rank 3 and 5 out of 8.
32. Sohag, the initial list, one woman, Ebtahag Ahmed Hassanein, rank 9 out of 12.
33. Sohag, the second list, one woman, Salwa Mohammed Abdul Karim, rank 8 of 8.
34. North Sinai, one woman, Inas Mustafa Hamdan, rank 4 of 4.
35. Qena, one woman, Suhair Badri, rank 4 of 4.
36.Kafr el sheikh, initial list, one woman, Huda Safan, rank 8 of 8.
37. Kafr el shikh, initial list, one woman, Fahima Mansour, rank 4 of 4.

Missing Data for MB on 9 districts for electoral party lists.

Al Nour Party/Salafis, Al Nour Party Facebook Page

No women in top half of lists analyzed. 

List (people's assembly)
East of Cairo, one woman,  8 out of 8.
South of Cairo, no women indicated.
West of Cairo, one woman, 7 of 8.
Aswan, one woman, 4 of 4.
Luxor, one woman, 4 of 4.
Qena, one woman, 4 of 4.
Qena list 2, one woman, 8 of 8.
Sohag, two women, 10 and 12 of 12.
Sohag, list 2, one woman, 8 of 8.
Assiut list 1, one woman, 8 of 8.
Assiut list 2, one woman, 8 of 8.
Minya list 1, one woman, 8 of 8.
Minya list 2, one woman, 8 of 8.
Beni Suef, one woman, 7 of 8.
Fayoum, one woman, 8 of 8.
New Valley, one woman, 4 of 4.
Ismailia, (no women?)
Port Said, one woman, 4 of 4.
Suex, one woman, 4 of 4.
Damietta, one woman, 8 of 8.
Dakhalia, list 1, one woman, 8 of 8.
Dakhalia, list 2, one woman 8 of 8
Dakhalia list 3, one woman 8 of 8.
Alexandria, list 1, one woman, 6 of 6.
Alexandria list 2, one woman, 10 of 10.
Beheiria, one woman, 12 of 12.

Nasr City, one woman
South area of Egypt, no women
Zeinab, no women
Maadi, no women

El Adl party, El Adl Webpage 

Lists (8 women at top of lists)

1. Central Cairo List, two women, one Christian ranks 3,4,5, out of 8. 
2. South Cairo List, one woman, rank 5 of 10.
3. East Cairo List, one woman, one Christian, rank 4 and 7 of 10.
4. Ghamra, one woman, 2 out of 8.
5. East Alexandria, one woman, 3 out of 6.
6. Alexandria, Shura Council, one woman, 4 out of 4.
7. Minya Governorate, one woman 2 out of 8. 
8. East Alexandria, one woman 3 out of 6.
9. Matrouh, one woman, 4 out of 4. 
10. Gharbia, four singles, all men.
11. Gharbia, Mahalla, two women, 5 and 6 out of 10.
12. Gharbia, Tanta, one woman, 10 out of 10.
13. Qena, North, one woman, 3 out of 3.
14. Qena, South, one woman, one out of 8.
15. Red Sea, one woman, 3 out of 4.
16. Beni Suef, one woman, 4 out of 8.
17. Sohag, one woman 4 out of 8.
18. Sharqia, Abu Kabir, one woman, 9 out of 9.
19. Sharqia, Zagazig, one woman, 3 out of 10. 
20. Damietta, one woman, 7 out of 10.  
21. Baheria, Damanhur (not sure about this location) one Christian, one woman, 6 and 11 out of 12. Suez, one woman, 4 out of 4. 
13. Fayoum, one woman, 2 out of 4. 

List Shura Council  (no women in top half of lists)

Alexandria, one woman, 4 out of 4.
Matrough, one woman, 3 out of 4.
Gharbia, Mahalla, one woman, 4 out of 4.
Beni Suef, one woman, 3 out of 4.
Sharqia, one woman, 3 out of 4.

Individuals (3 women)

Department of Osim, a man, People's Assembly 
South Giza, a man, Shura Council
North Giza, a woman, Shura Council.
Minya Governorate, Four candidates, no women, three people's assembly, one Shura council.
Dakhalia Governorate, two candidates, no women, two People's Assembly
East Alexandria, two men, people's assembly
Alexandria, one man, Shura Council.
Gharbia, Mahalla, one man.
Minya, three men for people's assembly.
Minya, one man, Shura council.
Sharqia, two men, people's assembly
Qalubiya, one woman, Shura Council.
Damietta, one man, People's assembly.
Beheria, four men, no women, people's assembly. 
Ismailia, one woman, People's assembly. One man, Shura council.

The Egyptian Bloc ("Kotla": Free Egyptians, SDP and Tagamoo)
Egyptian Social Democratic Party 
The Free Egyptians Party

We examined both the SDP versions of the lists and the Free Egyptian version. They are close but not identical. The final lists have to be the same, since they are running as a bloc. Each party can choose to run whomever they want as individuals.

Lists (9 women at top of lists)

1. East Cairo. Two Christians, one woman. Rank 3 (C); 6(W);7(C) out of 7.
2. Downtown Cairo. One woman, one Christian. Rank 5 (W); 6(C) out of 9.
3. Cairo El Sahel. Three Christians, one woman. Rank 1(C); 4(C); 8(W); 9(C) out of 10.
4. South Cairo. One woman, one Christian. Rank 5(W); 8(C) out of 9.
5. Giza First List. Out of 10. Two Christians, One woman. Ranks 5(C); 6(C); 10(W).
6. Giza Second List. Out of 10. One Christian, one woman. Ranks 5(C) and 7(W).
7. Qaliubiya First List.  Out of 4. One woman. Rank 3.
8. Qaliubiya . Second List. Out of 8. One Christian, one woman. Rank 2(C) and 5(W).
9. Alexandria, First List. Out of 6. One woman, rank 3.
10. Alexandria, Second List. Out of 10. One Christian, one woman. Rand 8(C) and 9(W).
11. Port Said First List. Out of Four. No women.(Mistake?)
12. Ismailia. Out of 4. One woman. Rank 2.
13. Suez. Out of 4. One Christian, one woman, Rank 1(C) and 3(W).
14. Sharqia. First List. Out of 10. One woman, two Christians. Rank 3(W) ; 6(C) and 10(C).
15. Sharqia. Second List. Out of 10. Two women, one Christian. Rank 3(C); 6(W) and 10(W)
16. Dakhalia. First List. Out of 8. one woman, rank 9.
17. Dakhalia Second List. Out of 8. One Christian, one woman, rank 8(C) and 9(W).
18. Dakhalia Third List. Out of 8. one woman. Rank 4. 
19. Damietta. Out of 8. one woman. Rank 4.
20. Kafr El Sheikh. First List. Out of 9. One woman. Rank 7.
21. Kafr El Sheikh. Second List. Out of 4. One woman. Rank 4.
22. Gharbia. First List. Out of 10. One Christian, one woman. Rank 3(C) and 5(W)
23. Gharbia. Second List. Out of 10. One woman. Rank 10.
24. Menoufia. One Christian, two women. Out of 8. Ranks 3(C); 7(W) and 9(W)
25. Beheira. First List. Out of 10. One Christian. One woman. Ranks 1(C) and 9(W).
26. Beheira. Second List. Out of 8. One woman, one Christian. Ranks 2(W) and 3(C).
27. Fayoum. First List. Out of 10. One woman. Rank 9.
28. Fayoum. Second List. Out of 5. One woman, one Christian. Ranks 4(W) and 5(C).
29. Beni Suef. Out of 4. One woman. Rank 2.
30. Manyia. First List. Out of 8. Two Christians. Ranks 3 and 5.(mistake)
31. Manyia. Second List. Out of 8. One Christian woman. Rank 8.
32. Assiut. First List. Out of 9.  One Christian, one woman. Rank 2(C) and Rank 7(W).
33. Assiut. Second List. Out of 9. Two women. Ranks 2 and 6.
34. Sohag. First List. Out of 10. One woman. Rank 8.
35. Qena. Out of 8. One woman, Rank 6.
36. Aswan. Out of 4. One woman. Rank 3.
37. Luxor. Out of 4. One Christian, one woman. Ranks, 3(C) and 4(W).
38. Marsa Matrouh. Out of 4. One woman, rank 4.
39. New Valley, out of 4. One woman, rank 3.
40. Red Sea Governorate, out of 4. One woman, rank 3.
41. North Sinai Governorate, Out of 4. two women, ranks 3 and 4.
42. South Sinai Governorate, out of 4. one woman, rank 3.

Completed November 30th, 2011. Need to recheck for Christian names. Need to see if there are four lists that I missed. 

Individuals (People's Assembly)  (three women)

Free Egyptians
1st District Cairo. two men, one of them is Christian.
2d District Cairo. A man.
3rd District Cairo. A man.
4th District Cairo. Two men.
5th District Cairo. one man. One Christian woman.
6th District Cairo. A man.
7th District Cairo. Two men.
8th District Cairo. Two men.
9th District Cairo. One Christian woman. One man. 
 First district Giza. Three men. 
Second district Giza. One man. 
Third district Giza. One man. 
Fifth District Giza, two men. 
First District Alexandria two men. 
Second district Alexandria, two men. 
Third district Alexandria, two men. 
Fourth district Alexandira, two Christian men. 
First District Fayoum, one man. 
First district Port Said, one man. 
First district Ismailia, two men. 
First district Suez, three men. 
First district Sharqia, two men. 
Fifth district Sharqia, two men. 
First district Dakhalia, two men. 
Second district Dakhalia, one man. 
Third district Dakhalia, one man. 
Fourth district Dakhalia, one woman. 
Fifth district Dakhalia, two men, one is Christian. 
Sixth district Dakhalia, one man. 
First District Damietta, two men.
Second district Damietta, two men.
First district Kafr El Sheikh, one man
First district South Sinai, two men
Marsa Matrouh, two men, one is Christian.
Aswan, two men, one is Christian.
Qena (three districts) five men.
Sohag (four districts) six men.
Second district Assiut, one man.
First district Minya, two men.
Third district Minya, one Christian man.
Second district Beni Suef, one man.
Third district Beni Suef, one Christian man.
First district Beheira, two men, one is Christian.
Second district Beheira, three men.
Third district Behira, two men
Fourth district Beheira, one man
Fifth district Beheira, one man
First district Menoufia, three men.
Second district Menoufia, three men.
Third district Menoufia, one man.
Fourth district Menoufia, one man.
First district Gharbia, three men.
Third district Gharbia, one man.
Fourth district Gharbia, one man.

Individuals (Sura Council) 
Free Egyptians
Cairo, list one man
Luxor, individual one man.

The Revolution Continues Alliance 

Lists (10 women out of 10 lists)

1. Cairo 1st District. Two women, one Christian. Rank 3 (W); 4(W);6(C) out of 10.
2. Cairo 2d District. One woman, one Christian. Rank 3 (C); 5(W) out of 8.

3. Cairo Third District. One woman. Rank 1(W);  out of 8. 
4. Cairo 4th District. Two women. Rank 6(W); 10(W) out of 10.
 5. Alexandria, First List. Two women, Ranks 2 and 3.
6. Alexandria, Second List. Out of 10. Cannot see a female name (?)

7. Damietta. Cannot see a female name. (?)

8. Kafr El Sheikh. Second List. one woman. 3 out of 3. 
9. Red Sea. One woman. 3 out of 3. 
10. Assiut. First List. Two women, one Christian. Ranks 4(W); 5(W) and 6(C).


No women.

This section was completed on December 7, 2011.

Other Parties 

The RCA has 100 candidates under 40. The RCA CLAIMS has two women at the top of its lists, including Mervat Said Hanafi in Helwan. This assertion was not confirmed in my review of the lists.  There are 45 women in the 32 lists of the Revolution continues, two women at the top of two lists and 4 women come second in the lists.

The SDP and Socialist Coalition also have platforms strongly supportive of women and religious freedom.

The Free Egyptians and the SDP ("Kotla") have sizable Copt participation. That is to be expected as they  are secular parties.

Wafd Party President al-Sayed al-Badawy says there are 37 Coptic candidates on the lists, and 87 female candidates on the lists. (As of October 29, 2011. The Wafd party will field at least two women in first place, including Margaret Azer in Nasry City, and Magda El Nawashi in Ismalia. (Fathi, "Women") 

Heba Fahmy of the Daily News says the the Democratic Alliance List (Islamists) includes 76 women and 2 Copts. About half of the female candidates are on the top of the list. (Our research indicates that this claim was NOT TRUE).

In a press conference, the Salafist Nour party said that fielding women candidates for parliament is "evil," and that the party will only field female candidates because they are forced to by law.  (Fathi, "Women")


Last updated December 2, 2011. 6:35 p.m. Cairo time. 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Political Parties, Lists and things it would be nice to know about the Upcoming Egyptian Parliamentary Elections

Photo Credit Al Ahram online. Popular Socialist Alliance Street Party.
 Dear readers

A reader has made the excellent request that I try to assemble information about all parties and lists in one page. This page will be a running assessment of the state of political life in Egypt as the parliamentary elections approach. I will try to update it as frequently as possible. This information may be available in one place at the Higher Elections Commission. However, it is all in Arabic. So I am creating a database from the Egyptian press. I am reading the English press, and my students the Arabic Press.

When will the elections be held?

Parliamentary elections  for the people's assembly are scheduled to start on November 28th, 2011. Following rounds of elections will be held on December 5th, and December 14th.

My students and I think that this system of having some governorates vote first, and then others follow is very problematic. Governorates in later elections will observe the results of the Cairo vote, and then change their votes accordingly. The outcomes of the earlier votes will affect the outcomes of the later votes.

The Shura Council Poll will being on January 29th, and end on March 11, 2012. 

How many seats are up for grabs? 

There are 498 seats in the People's Assembly which will be decided by election. Another 10 seats will be appointed, making the total number of seats in the People's Assembly 508.

Shura Council will have 180 elected seats, and 90 presidentially appointed seats, for a total of 270 seats in the upper house.One question is who will appoint the 90 seats in the absence of a President in Egypt.

How do the election stages work? 

The first stage of elections will be held between November 28th and the 5th of December. It includes Egypt's most popular governerates, Cairo and Alexandria, as well as Fayoum, Port Said, Damietta, Kafr Al-Sheikh, Assiut, Luxor and the Red Sea.

How many political parties are there in Egypt?

As many as 55 political parties, (as of November 14, 2011) most of which were formed after the January 25th Revolution, will compete in the parliamentary elections.

How many electoral districts are there in Egypt? 

There are 46 electoral districts covered by the party list system, and 83 districts covered by the individual candidacy system. Source: Gamal Assam El Din, "Egypt's Opposition Slams Proposed Electoral Changes," Ahram Online, September 26, 2011.

How many candidates have registered? 

Over 15,000 candidates have registered (As of October 29, 2011). Over 8600 have registered as independents. 6600 have registered for the People's Assembly. More than 2000 have registered for the Shura Council.

What are the main Alliances?

There are four main electoral blocs, which span the political spectrum. Although Egypt does have a left, I believe it is inaccurate, in my view, to say it has a "right," as that concept is understood in Europe. It has a secular side and a more fundamentalist religious side.


Egyptian Bloc: Free Egyptians (Free Enterprise), Egyptian Social Democratic Party, Tagmmu Party (old school leftist)
The Revolution Continues: Socialist Popular Alliance Party, Egyptian Socialist Party, Egypt Freedom (Amr Hamzawy), Equality and Development, Egyptian Current, Revolution Youth Coalition


Democratic Alliance: (12 parties) Muslim Brotherhood, Ghad Party, Al-Karama (Nasserist)
Islamist Alliance: Nour Party (Salafis), Asala, the Salafist Current, the Construction and Development Party (Al-Jamaa Al-Islamiya)

What are some of the other parties in Egypt?

Overview of Political Parties from The Arabist.

Map of Egypt's Political Parties

Overview of Political Parties from the Carnegie Endowment.This is by Marina Ottaway, a respected academic with a lot of expertise on both Africa and the Middle East.

The Emerging Political Spectrum in Egypt

Here is information about parties I have gleaned from Newspapers.

Unity Party (Hossam Badrawy/NDP)
Wafd (liberal/NDP)

Egyptian Communist Party (not running/boycotting)
Egypt Above All Coalition (Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi)
El Adl (liberal/free enterprise)
Democratic Front Party (liberal)
Horreya Party (NDP cover)
Egyptian Citizen Party (NDP Cover)
National Egypt Party (NDP Cover)  (60 former NDP members)

Note: The High Administrative Court in Mansoura, Dakahlia governorate, has banned all members of the NDP from running for parliament. The General Electoral Committee in the governorate should reject the nomination papers of any candidate who was a member of NDP. It is not clear if the ruling will apply only in Dakhalia or across Egypt. According to Reuters, however, on November 15, 2011, Judge Magdy E-Agaty of the Higher Administrative Court has overturned the verdict. According to the Daily News Egypt, former NDP members have set up at least 6 parties. 

Will Expatriates be Allowed to Vote?

Maybe. Prime Minister Essam Sharaf held a meeting this weekend (November 10, 2011) with several cabinet members to discuss whether expatriates can vote. They may be allowed to vote in Egyptian embassies abroad.

Who Can Monitor Elections?

Only Egyptians can monitor elections. International election monitors will not be allowed. The Egyptian Council for Human Rights has received 7168 requests from NGOs to monitor elections.

What Kind of Electoral System will be Used?

The elections will combine a list system as well as a single winner system. One third of the seats will be based on a single winner system. Two thirds of the seats in the People's Assembly will be elected based on the closed list system. For more on the list system, read here. The Book of Lists.

The number of candidates on each party list differs. Voters will elect a fixed number of party based candidates depending on the voting district.

North Cairo will elect 10 party based deputies. Nasr City will elect eight. Cairo's four districts will return 36 MPs from the party list system.

The city is divided into nine districts which will produce 18 MPs from the single winner system. 

When Did Parties Gain Recognition? 
The Nour Party (Salafis) was founded in the coastal city of Alexandria. It won official recognition on June 12, 2011. The Islamist coalition could win as many as 30 percent of parliament's seats.

Okay, I will update this as time allows. ~WMB

Updated November 14, 2011 4:00 p.m.
Updated November 15, 2011 10:00 a.m.; 4:35 p.m.
Updated November 16, 2011 11;04 a.m. 

Al Masry Al Youm
Ahram Online
Al Ahram Weekly
Al Jazeera
New York Times
Washington Post
AUC Today
Daily News Egypt
Carnegie Endowment

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Concern and Confrontation about Constitutional Principles

Many different kinds of Egyptian political groups are worried about the so called "constitutional principles document." The document was proposed by Deputy Prime Minister Ali al-Selmy around the first of November, 2011.

The document creates a constitutional drafting committee comprised of 100 members, of whom 80 are outside Parliament, and 20 are from parties inside parliament, with a maximum of five members for each party. The SCAF, presumably, will select the 80 members outside parliament.

This document grants the SCAF the sole right to discuss the military's budget. The SCAF could also review all matters related to the military, and approve legislation related to the military. These items do not sound very democratic. A previous post discusses this. Governance, Accountability and Stakeholders The head of the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights, Hafez Abu Seada, walked out of the meeting on the document, which he says eviscerates parliament.

That being said, the document states that Egypt is a democratic civil state, that Islam is the official religion, and Sharia the source of legislation. It gives the right to non-Muslims to follow their own creeds. 

The human rights groups are not the only ones who do not like the document. The Islamists believe that it is an attempt to weaken their influence, and have called for a million-man march against the document on Friday, November 18th. The Islamists dislike the reference to Non-Muslim creeds. They say there is a US project behind the document.

Originally, secularists wanted a supra-constitutional document to ensure a secular nation, but the SCAF has cleverly subverted this ploy, turning it into a device to ensure the role of the military. Mohamed ElBaradei calls the document "distorted" and has expressed concerns regarding the power it gives the military. According to Al Masry Al Youm Mohamed Hamed, of the Free Egyptians party is more comfortable with the strong military role, than with a religious Islamist state.

The Freedom and Justice newspaper notes its strong opposition to the document. Some papers report that the Salafis and the Muslim Brotherhood are coordinating candidate nominations ahead of the parliamentary elections, however the Freedom and Justice party has denied this.

Civil society organizations have until November 19, 2011 to apply for permits to monitor the elections. The extension came from a request by the National Council for Human Rights.

"Officials Extend Deadline for Election Monitor Applications," November 9, 2011, Al Masry Al Youm
"Nour party coordinates election strategy with Muslim Brotherhood," November 9, 2011, Al Masry Al Youm
"Campaign tensions escalate," November 10, 2011, Al Masry Al Youm 
"Islamists plan 18 November protests against super constitutional principles," November 7, 2011, Al Masry Al Youm.
Noha El-Hennawy, "Supra-constitutional debate heats up again," November 3, 2011 Al Masry Al Youm
"Constitutional principles document gives military special status," November 1, 2011, Al Masry Al Youm

Cairo, I missed you

I went to Taormina, Italy, for Eid al Adha. It was spectacularly beautiful. The food was good, and the wine was plentiful. The architecture was amazing. Somehow, though, I found myself longing for my family, and for dry, windy Cairo. Italy was stunningly beautiful, but also not as lively as Egypt. I missed the falafel. I missed the lemon. I missed the hectic hustle and bustle. It has been a difficult year, but Cairo has its charms.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The book of lists: unraveling the mystery of Egypt's emerging electoral system

Dear readers

I am, by training, an expert in public policy.  I like to think of myself as a comparative political scientist. Upon this basis,  I will attempt to unravel the mysteries of Egypt's emerging electoral systems for you.

The most important idea, in my opinion, is that different forms of electoral systems have different outcomes for emerging democracies. (Barkan, Densham, Rushton, 2006) In general, countries tend to choose between "first past the post systems" (plurality) and proportional representation systems. The United States has a first past the post system. Such systems make it hard for third parties to run effectively. (Norris, 1997) Mixed systems, such as those adopted by Ecuador, Hungary, Russia and Taiwan aim to combine the best of proportional and majoritarian systems. (Norris, 1997)

Eastern Europe and Southern Africa engaged in discussion regarding the likely impacts and tradeoffs of alternative electoral systems before they chose a system. Unfortunately, to my knowledge, Egypt's leadership has not engaged in such a discussion. Rather, the decisions have been made in closed consultations between the Egyptian military and any political participants which the SCAF has chosen to converse with.

Here is a very quick summary of the systems available based on Norris.  For more detail, please look up the articles below. Plurality systems are used for election in the UK, Canada, India, and the US. Plurality systems aim to create a majority. This system penalizes minor parties. It is winner take all and the focus is on effective governance, not representation of minority views. Candidates need a simple plurality to be elected.

Party list systems are used in South Africa, Europe, and Brazil, to name a few countries. "Proportional systems focus on the inclusion of minority voices."  (Norris, 1997: 303) Open party lists (Norway, Finland, Italy) mean that voters can express preferences for particular candidates within the list. Closed party lists mean that voters can only select the party (Israel, Portugal, Spain, Germany). The ranking of the candidates is determined by the political party. Where you are located on the list, determines your chances of getting elected. The additional member system used in Germany combines single-member, and party list constituencies.

Carles Boix's work is relevant to the Egyptian case. He argues that any current government shapes the electoral rules to its advantage. (Boix, 1999) He observes that in an era of limited suffrage, plurality rule was used broadly in Europe. After the turn of the century, most European countries embraced proportional representation.  It is my assessment that Egypt, according to Boix's typology, is currently operating under conditions of very high uncertainty regarding the structure of the electoral arena. Under such conditions, Boix predicts that the ruling elite will select a system most likely to minimize risks. This, he states is a mixed or pure PR system. Interesting, because the SCAF has in fact selected a mixed PR system.

Boix notes that if parties are collections of local notables, then there may be an incentive to embrace single-member districts. These structures, he argues, strengthen local ties and patronage politics. This is in fact what is occurring in Egypt, with the selection of the one third single member independent districts. Under Mubarak, all candidates ran as individuals in a first past the post system. The goal of that system was to ensure solid majorities for the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP). 

Based on the SCAF's most recent ruling, two thirds of constituencies will be allocated according to a closed proportional list-based system, and one third according to the single-winner (first past the post) system. Further, the SCAF has reduced the number of seats in the People's Assembly from 508 to 498.

As I mentioned in a previous post, having one third of seats be elected through a  single-winner system makes electoral districts bigger. If 1/3 of the candidates are under a single-winner system, then the 80 million people of Egypt will elect 166 people as individual candidates. That means that the electoral districts will be divided among 166 candidates. The electoral districts will be larger, which will favor established, wealthy, well-known candidates, (NDP and MB) and disadvantage candidates from new parties.

Add to this a special Egyptian twist. There is a workers and farmers requirement. A certain percentage of people in parliament must be "workers" or "farmers." This sounds good in theory, but in practice, it is prone to corruption. To be named a "worker" or a "farmer" you have to get a certificate which acknowledges you as such from the Egyptian government. This is essentially a back door way of favoring local notables, people like the sherif, or omda, or people from wealthy families.

No system is perfect. As noted above, a first past the post system generally penalizes small parties. However, PR also has its disadvantages. For example, South Africa chose PR to accommodate parties representing racial minorities. (Barkan et. al, 2006) PR systems enhance the power of party leaders at the expense of back benchers and the rank and file. It may reduce opportunities for face to face dialogue and linkages between legislators and citizens, thereby potentially reducing accountability. In other words, citizens residing in a given area are unable to hold a specific MP accountable to their community.

 Finally, none of these systems will necessarily protect the rights of women. A closed PR system may help get women elected, depending on where the parties place women on the lists. If they are at the bottom of the list, for example, they will not get elected.  For this reason, some countries such as Uganda and Rwanda, have put in place requirements that a certain percentage of seats in parliament be reserved for women. A future essay will discuss the pros and cons of each electoral system.

Ames, B. (1995) Electoral Strategy under Open-List Proportional Representation," American Journal of Political Science, 39 (2): 406-433.

Barkan, J.D. (2006) "Designing Better Electoral Systems for Emerging Democracies," American Journal of Political Science, 50 (4): 926-939.
Blais, A., Dobrzynska, A. and Indridason, I.  (2005), "To Adopt or Not to Adopt Proportional Representation: The Politics of Institutional Choice.", 35(1): 182-190.
Boix, C. (1999) "Setting the Rules of the Game; The Choice of Electoral Systems in Advanced Democracies," The American Political Science Review, 93 (3): 609-624.
Fick, G. (1999), "The Gender-Sensitive Checklist for Free and Fair Elections," Agenda, (40): 66-74.
Norris, P. (1997) Choosing Electoral Systems: Proportional, Majoritarian and Mixed Systems. International Political Science Review, 18 (3): 297-312.