Islamists and democracy can mix
On November 28 Egyptians are expected to elect a new parliament. The conduct of the ballot and the voter turnout will serve as a barometer of political freedom in Egypt. The violent confrontations this past weekend between the demonstrators and the security services and the growing calls for the removal of Field Marshal Muhammad Hussein Tantawi may prompt the generals to further tighten their grip on power. After Mubarak’s removal, the senior generals who comprise the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) pledged they would shepherd the transition to democracy and then exit politics. In recent months, however, they have attempted to cement their ultimate authority over the government and the constitutional process and to shield their budget from scrutiny.