Egyptians Learn Best Practices in Building Democracy
Freedom House recently facilitated two post-revolution strategy sessions in Egypt: one with leading local human rights and democracy NGOs, the other with youth-based political groups. In both sessions, participants discussed transition scenarios, priorities, challenges and possible areas of coordination among younger and more established groups in Egyptian society. Both groups discussed ways to ensure a continuance of progressive change. Some of the key elements that were identified include: preparing processes and mechanisms supportive of free and fair elections, the inclusion of civil society in the discussions with the Egyptian Supreme Military Council, parliamentary verses presidential systems and majority verses proportional representation systems, and engaging local and international monitors.
They also discussed ways that civil society can educate and engage voters about participating in elections in an informed way, and how to democratize Islamic political parties as well as unite different yet democratic opposition, especially in the face of potentially powerful counter-revolutionary forces. Freedom House brought an international expert on democratic transitions to share lessons learned from successful and failed democratic transitions, analyzing the choices that Egypt will face and the pros and cons of those choices.
Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.