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Barry Rubin

Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition, Viking-Penguin), the paperback edition of The Truth about Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan), and The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley). The website of the GLORIA Center is at http://www.gloria-center.org and of his blog, Rubin Reports, at http://www.rubinreports.blogspot.com.
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Egypt’s Presidential Election to be Postponed?

Monday, April 16th, 2012 - by Barry Rubin

It is being reported — though I haven’t fully confirmed it — that the totally chaotic Egyptian presidential election will be postponed until after a constitution is written. That means the military will hold onto power for what? several months? most of this year? who knows.  Having made one tough decision — to run a presidential candidate — the Brotherhood must now decide whether it wants to play it safe, given its control of parliament, and have a weak president or to go for a strong president, believing that it will put its own man into office.

And incidentally it isn’t clear who precisely is running. The Salafist candidate, who loathes America, Hazem Salah Abu Ismail was disqualified after being challenged by a claim that his mother is an American citizen, and Brotherhood candidate Khairat el-Shater was also disqualified.  The Brotherhood has a backup candidate, Muhammad al-Mursi, ready to go if necessary.

The Mubarak regime’s intelligence chief, Omar Suleiman, has been also barred as have been all former officials, though somehow there’s a loophole allowing the former foreign minister to run! Oh well. The Mubarak regime barred the Brotherhood as a separate party and now the Brotherhood has gotten the Mubarak regime blocked. Such is democracy.

Any way, this is another step in the growing chaos and instability that is going to continue to plague Egypt.

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