Friday, September 09, 2005

Egypt's Opposition Sees Democracy Hope

As Mubarak Gains Re-Election, Egypt's Opposition Acknowledges Hope for Greater Democracy
Turnout was miserably low, voting irregularities were prevalent, and the result President Hosni Mubarak's re-election was known from the start. Still, some in the opposition said Friday that Egypt's flawed vote created momentum toward greater democracy.
Opposition movements, while unconvinced the government is sincere in its promises of reform, are vowing to fight harder in parliamentary elections set for November.
Wednesday's election was the first in which Mubarak, a key U.S. ally in power for 24 years, has faced opponents. Previously, he was re-elected in referendums in which he was the sole candidate.The integrity of the vote was seen as a key test of his government's commitment to democracy. While few opponents believed the vote was clean, some suggested it was clean enough to raise their hopes.The final results announced Friday by the elections commission held no surprises: the 77-year-old Mubarak won a new six-year term with 88.571 percent of the vote.His closest rivals, Ayman Nour of the opposition Al-Ghad party and Noaman Gomaa of the Wafd party, took 7.3 and 2.8 percent, respectively.


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