L'Humanité in English
Translation of selective papers from the french daily newspaper l'Humanité
decorHome > World > Egypt : Wind of Revolt Against the High Cost of Living
 

EditorialWorldPoliticsEconomySocietyCultureScience & TechnologySportInternational Communist and Labor Press"Tribune libre"Comment and OpinionBlogsLinks
About Elections, read also
decorINSTITUTIONS. « IL FAUT ASSAINIR LE SYSTÈME DE FINANCEMENT DE LA DÉMOCRATIE » decorWith Emmanuel Macron as President, What to Expect? decor# France. What is next? decorLabour candidate Sadiq Khan is elected mayor of London decorThe 99%: pleading on behalf of the ’us’ in politics decor“Greece Has a New Government!” decorLeft Front Able to Form Parliamentary Group in French National Assembly decorMarie-George Buffet Condemns “Blackmailing of Greek People” decorLouka Katseli: “Economic Policy Must Change” decorRena Dourou: Dubious Political Geometry of Greek Right decorSyriza at Heart of Greek Politics Despite Pressure decorGerman Right Thinks Greece Should Leave Euro Zone
About Economy, read also
decorChina has triggered a salutary change in Africa decorIMF admits that austerity was a miscalculation decorThe middle classes are not immune to the crisis decorFrançois Hollande “Anticipated” Poor Growth Forecast decorThe Year of the Dragon or China In Search of a New Impetus decorIreland in the Clutches of the IMF and Financial Markets decorIreland: A Mere Pasteboard Décor decorLiberal Schizophrenia decorBelgium : A New Social Disaster Ahead decorSpeculators Playing with Debt decorDr Jekyll decorRecession Takes Hold in France
About Egypt, read also
decorThe people’s way, editorial by Pierre Barbancey decorEgypt: "You saw all those young people, they dared to say no!" decorEgypt recalls its ambassador from Israel decorTribunal or Shadow Play? decorSocial Protest Is Rising in Egypt decorEgypt- From Nasser to Mubarak: a country under outside control decorThe Great Financial Institutions Support the Mubarak Régime decor“The Muslim Brotherhood stands on the borderline between a brotherhood and a political party”
World

ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: La fonde des Egyptiens contre la vie chère

by Hassane Zerouky

Egypt : Wind of Revolt Against the High Cost of Living

Translated Tuesday 15 April 2008, by Isabelle Métral

Cairo: Tuesday’s municipal elections took place in an atmosphere of social tensions exacerbated by soaring basic food prices

The death of fifteen-year-old Ahmad Ali Hamada during clashes between police and demonstrators last Sunday and Monday in the industrial city of Mahalla in the Nile delta is an emblematic example of the tense social climate that prevails in Egypt. According to a trade union official, Mustapha Fodda, quoted by AFP a French news agency, police las Monday dispelled demonstrators with tear gas and rubber bullets, wounding eighty-eight people. According to the trade-unionist, the clashes spread overnight to two villages near Mahalla. Calm was restored in this town, which is considered as the main centre of social protest in the country, despite the manifest tension.

The sudden rise in the prices of basic necessities that hits the poorest sections of the Egyptian population especially hard has caused the social discontent to erupt into street demonstrations in Cairo and several localities. Yet the call by the Kefaya movement (Enough) to stage sit-ins against inflation in 26 provinces, Cairo included, coupled with a call that was launched on the web for a general strike on Sunday has had no effect. It seems the warning issued by the Interior Ministry has deterred Egyptians from answering them.

Whatever the reason, one thing is sure: the few emergency measures taken by the government – rice exports are suspended for six months- have not been enough to curb the dramatic inflation that has pushed up household expenses by 50% and feeds the exasperation of a majority of Egyptians.

On April 10th polling stations therefore opened for the election of municipal councillors in a context of high social tension. As these elections were the last thing on their minds, Egyptians did not rush to the polling stations. Turnout will probably be one of the lowest ever. But it is precisely the rate of abstention that is mostly at stake: according to the Middle East News Agency, the National Democratic Party was sure to sweep 70% of the seats, owing to there being no other candidates but the governing party’s in many places.

A call to boycott the elections

Indeed President Mubarak’s party was practically the only party to put up candidates in this poll and its only adversaries were the thousand candidates of the Wafd (liberal) party and the ex-communist Union Party. As to the main opposition party, the Muslim Brotherhood, whose existence, though not officially recognized, is tolerated by the authorities, it finally threw in the sponge and called for a boycott.

Yet this poll was crucial to the Islamists. They had been expecting to field independent out-party candidates in at least 20% of the districts so as to gain enough seats to be in a capacity to present a candidate in the 2011 presidential election: under Egyptian law a presidential candidate must be endorsed by 68 deputies and 148 municipal councillors.

If the Islamists, who have 88 deputies in Parliament, can meet the first condition, they are no longer in a capacity to meet the second: out of the 5,700 candidates to the elections only twenty were authorized to stand. Asphyxiated by diverse administrative measures coupled with hundreds of arrests, the Muslim Brotherhood, whose aim is to institute sharia (religious law), have been kept out of the race by the government.


Follow site activity RSS 2.0 | Site Map | Translators’ zone | SPIP