In preparation for the Egyptian parliamentary elections that are now only five days away, I am posting a link to the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Egyptian elections guide. There is a ton of information on the site about the majors players and major obstacles. The Egyptian government's recent refusal to allow international observers to observe these elections is disappointing, although certainly not surprising. Election observation can have an tangible effect in terms of streamlining the complaint system and offering constructive criticism to the government with regard to voter registration, polling station protocol and campaign laws. Improvement in each of these areas (among many others) represents an important step in strengthening any nascent democracy.
In other news, Egyptian blogger Abdul Kareem Nabil Soliman was recently released from prison after a five year sentence for insulting Mubarak (calling him a dictator) and al-Azhar.