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Vol 47 No 1

Published 6th January 2006


Ponderous politicians

Political change is lagging well behind the governments' market economic strategies

EGYPT: President and retired airforce General Hosni Mubarak retains great faith in his political longevity. He cracks down on dissenters, reflected in the five-year gaol term handed out by a regime-friendly judge to liberal opponent Ayman Nour, who dared to stand against him in September's presidential election. He flirts with Al Ikhwan al Muslimeen (Muslim Brotherhood), which could outflank his National Democratic Party (NDP) in Egypt's slowly evolving electoral politics. And he stands up to United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and others who suggest that he is not a real democrat.

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