What now for Egypt‘s beleaguered liberals? Ahead of disputed parliamentary elections, the secular forces that featured so prominently during the first months of the revolution are struggling.
With one foot in the sphere of formal politics and the other in the politics of the street, they are failing to make headway in either direction. The liberals are being derided in Tahrir Square as having sold out to the supreme council of the armed forces (Scaf) by agreeing to participate in a flawed “transition” proceeding at a snail’s pace; and outgunned by the organisational firepower of the Islamist parties and remnants of Hosni Mubarak‘s old ruling NDP, both of which look set to sweep the board when voting stations open their doors on Monday.
“They are trying, and failing, to appeal to everyone, and as a result find themselves constantly hedging their bets on a revolution that very few of them understand and very few of them are fundamentally committed to,” said Khalid Abdalla, an actor and activist who will not be heading to the polls. “There’s an attempt among this section of the political class to try to find a balance between what the powers-that-be will accept and what the square will accept, but the reality is that those two things are completely irreconcilable.” Continue reading