Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Barry Rubin: Where Egypt Is Heading

By Barry Rubin

There’s a new political timeline for Egypt. Apparently horrified by disorder and radicalization, the military junta has decided to slow things down.

Its proposal is for parliamentary elections November 28, with the resulting parliament choosing a committee to write a new constitution by April 2012. That group will have a year to produce the new document and only then—after April 2013—will there be presidential elections. Bottom line: the generals will retain executive power for the next 18 months.

What’s likely to happen in elections?
My estimate is that the Muslim Brotherhood will be the single largest party, with 30 to 40 percent of the seats.

In contrast to the united Islamists, there are more than a dozen moderate parties. The three main ones are the left-oriented Justice Party, the opportunistic Wafd Party; and the Free Egyptians’ Party, the closest thing to an anti-Islamist moderate force.
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