VI. Looking Forward
On November 5, 2010, Egyptian minister of finance Yousef Boutros Ghali published an op-ed in The Washington Post in which he argued that critics of human rights abuses and the political process in Egypt are ignoring the government’s economic achievements. He also pointed to the media, the Internet, and civil society in Egypt as evidence of political openness.
Yet it is clear on the eve of the 2010 People’s Assembly elections that the government has no interest in opening up the political arena in Egypt, even a crack, to allow for elections that might eventually lead to a peaceful transition of power in Egypt. At present the Emergency Law and other restrictive measures like the Political Parties Law remain the biggest deterrents to the ability of Egyptians to exercise freedom of expression, association, and assembly – rights that are vital in any meaningful exercise of political rights more broadly. The legal framework for parliamentary elections, and in particular the constitutional amendments of 2007, along with the behavior of security forces in the weeks leading up the elections, make it difficult to see how the elections this November can be fair or free.
 Youssef Boutros-Ghali, “Egypt: Trendsetter in the Mideast,” Washington Post, November 5, 2010, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/04/AR2010110406655.html, accessed November 10, 2010.