from From the Potomac to the Euphrates and Middle East Program

A Nervous Step Forward: Egypt’s Referendum

March 21, 2011

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Egyptians cast their vote during a national referendum at a polling station in Cairo on March 19, 2011 (Amr Dalsh/Courtesy Reuters).

Here’s a brief excerpt from an interview on Egypt’s referendum that I did with cfr.org’s Bernie Gwertzman. The referendum is the first stage in a fast moving political process that will culminate in presidential elections later this year. The conduct of the polls were by all means quite good—the freest and fairest in Egypt since anyone can remember. Still, there is a long way to go for Egyptians to build a democratic political order.

The overwhelming "yes" vote suggests that the Egyptian military was correct in believing that this package of proposed amendments would be enough for the vast majority of Egyptians. The real question is what is going to unfold between now and the parliamentary elections, which are slated either for June or September and the presidential election by December. You can certainly expect to see a flowering of politics in Egypt, and the emergence of all kinds of different groups.

You can find the full text of the interview here.

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