Arab Winter: Egypt suspends parliamentary elections

Post-'Arab Spring' Egypt hits its latest roadblock

by Joseph Power on 6 March 2013 15:41

Months ago, Douglas Murray used the phrase “Arab Winter” to describe events in Tunisia. Being one of the first times I’d heard the coinage, and after reading John R Bradley’s After the Arab Spring: How Islamists Hijacked the Middle East Revolts, I was struck by how very exact it seemed.

Then, minutes ago at the time of writing, the Associated Press tweeted: "BREAKING: Egypt court suspends parliamentary elections scheduled to begin next month"

The court argued that electoral law needed to be reviewed by the Supreme Constitutional Court to ensure that it conformed to the constitution.

It seems the logic of Alexander Herzen’s From The Other Shore remains watertight:

“The death of the contemporary forms of social order ought to gladden rather than trouble the soul. But what is frightening is that the departing world leaves behind it not an heir, but a pregnant widow. Between the death of one and the birth of the other much water will flow by, a long night of chaos and desolation will pass.”

The fathers: Gaddafi, Ben Ali, and Mubarak are dead (or gone). The long night until the infant’s cries are heard, it seems, is still on-going. True representative liberal democracy in the Middle East has a way to go.

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