Oppression in Egypt constrains liberty
The time for democracy is now
Egyptians want freedom now and they deserve it. Understandable that establishing a free and open election process takes time. Yet, are there not independent organizations in the world willing to help with that?
The people have it right. Remove the obstruction first. Mubarak must go at once. An independent organization needs to be engaged to assist to keep the process honest.
America should withhold aid to Egypt until an accelerated time table is published and until Mubarak is out. The time for democracy in Egypt is now.
Free, fair elections still distant prospect for Egypt
Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, February 9, 2011; 12:00 AM
CAIRO - As Egypt comes under pressure to hold free and fair elections, democracy activists are expressing growing doubts about whether a ballot slated for September is feasible, and fearing that it could set the country's reform movement back even further.
While millions of Egyptians have taken to the streets to clamor for freedom and the removal of President Hosni Mubarak, the country's pro-democracy forces have been so battered and marginalized by decades of repression that advocates say it would take many months - if not years - to lay the groundwork for open and credible elections.
In recent days, U.S. officials have also moved to highlight the risks inherent in staging elections too quickly. Their assessment has been at the heart of the Obama administration's decision to continue backing Mubarak as he clings to power.
Under Egypt's constitution, the country will be required to hold a presidential election within 60 days if Mubarak quits or is pushed out; only candidates handpicked by Mubarak's party would be eligible to run.
Many of those urging a speedier exit for Mubarak acknowledge that the country is not prepared for quick elections. Some of them support the idea of a transitional government that might take power soon and then wield power for as long as a year, putting off a presidential election until early 2012.
"I'm shocked by what the Americans say - that Mubarak must stay as president so we can prepare for new elections,'' said Negad El Borai, a human rights advocate and lawyer in Cairo. "Mubarak must leave, and then we can talk."”