"Egypt’s basic election math goes something like this: Among up to 50 million voters, 20 to 30 percent are believed to be supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood or other Islamist factions and are sure to vote. Less than 20 percent, the elite and the Coptic Christian minority, are likely to be committed to civilian rule and are also eager to vote.
Hence the challenge is to win over the roughly 50 percent of undecided voters — not least in getting them to vote. Attempts to form unified slates derailed, with, by rough count, 14 liberal organizations and 8 Islamist parties fielding candidates. Standing out among more than 6,000 candidates for 498 seats is difficult. (...)
Almost the entire political spectrum was outraged anew last week by proposals floated by the caretaker government meant to guide the process of writing a new constitution. It had been expected that the new Parliament would choose the next cabinet and a 100-member council to write a new constitution, paving the way for presidential elections in a year.
But the ruling military council seems determined to dilute that. First, nothing obliges it to pick the next ministers from the winners. Second, the proposed constitutional guidelines suggest that the generals will pick 80 members of the council, leaving just 20 from the new Parliament, and put the military outside civilian oversight." (Dina Saleh Amer and Heba Afify/The New York Times)