News / Middle East

Election Delay Raises Questions About Egypt's Stability

Egypt's President Mohamed Mursi at the presidential palace in Cairo, October 8, 2012 file photo.
Egypt's President Mohamed Mursi at the presidential palace in Cairo, October 8, 2012 file photo.
Elizabeth Arrott
The decision this week to further delay Egypt's parliamentary elections, now expected to be held late this year, is prolonging political uncertainty in a nation under transition.  

In the latest blow to hopes of a quick resolution to Egypt's political crisis, President Mohamed Morsi said voting for a new legislature could be delayed until October.

The elections, most recently delayed from April, are meant to represent the last stage in the overhaul of the Egyptian political scene, with  Morsi elected the first post-revolution president last June, and a new, controversial, constitution adopted in December.  

A key loan under negotiation with the International Monetary Fund is predicated on progress toward political stability.

Professor Hassan Nafae of Cairo University says that even without the delay, the transition process has been troubled.

"It was up the president to complete the formation of the institutions.  But as a matter of fact, he has not been able to do that in a good way because the constitution has been drafted and adopted through a referendum before it had a real consensus," said Nafae.

Political analyst and publisher Hisham Kassem says the delay could hurt the Islamist parties that dominate government, including the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood, with a decline in popular support as economic and security problems mount.  But he argues that may be neutralized by disarray in the opposition.

"We have seen very poor performance of the Brotherhood matched by very poor performance by the opposition," he said.

Opponents of Morsi got a boost this week when a court struck down his decision to dismiss the government's long-serving prosecutor general and replace him with a candidate of his own.

The firing came under sweeping powers Morsi granted himself last November, and the reversal raised hopes other decisions taken under that mandate might also be put to judicial review.

Some opponents argue the rushed-through constitution should be subject to such reconsideration.

While the polarization between Morsi and his opponents have led to street battles in recent months, publisher Kassem remains optimistic that stability will prevail.

"The only positive thing here is that there is still an attempt and enough foundations to prevent the country from going into a civil war or into chaos," said Kassem.

Whether that will be enough to stem periodic violence from worsening before elections in October, will be keenly watched  by the IMF as negotiations on the economic bailout continue.

You May Like

US Firms Concerned About China's New Cyber Regulations

New rules would require technology companies doing business in financial sector to hand over their source code, adopt Chinese encryption algorithms More

WHO Focus on Ebola Shifts to Ending Outbreak

Focus to be less on building facilities and more on efforts to find infected people, manage their cases, engage with communities and ensure proper burials More

US Scientist Who Conceived of Groundbreaking Laser Technology Dies

Charles Townes, Nobel laureate, laser co-creator paved way for other scientific discoveries: CDs, eye surgery, metal cutters to name a few technologies that rely on lasers More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Webi
X
January 29, 2015 9:58 AM
Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video As Ground Shifts, Obama Reviews Middle East Strategy

The death of Saudi Arabia’s king, the collapse of a U.S.-friendly government in Yemen and a problematic relationship with Israel’s leadership are presenting a new set of complications for the Obama administration and its Middle East policy. Not only is the U.S. leader dealing with adversaries in Iran, the Islamic State and al-Qaida, but he is now juggling trouble with traditional allies, as White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Saved By a Mistake - an Auschwitz Survivor's Story

Dagmar Lieblova was 14 when she arrived at Auschwitz in December 1943, along with her entire Czech Jewish family. All of them were to die there, but she was able to leave after several months due to a bureaucratic mix-up which saved her life. Now 85, with three children and six grandchildren, she says she has a feeling of victory. This report by Ahmad Wadiei and Farin Assemi, of RFE/RL's Radio Farda is narrated by RFE’s Raymond Furlong.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid