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NDI

The National Democratic Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization working to support and strengthen democratic institutions worldwide through citizen participation, openness and accountability in government.

Egypt

Egypt_PIC.jpg

قراءة في عربي

The fall of the 30-year authoritarian regime of President Hosni Mubarak was the culmination of years of deteriorating political, economic and social conditions for Egyptian citizens. The ability of Egypt to move forward from autocracy to democracy will largely depend on its ability to establish democratic institutions perceived by its people as inclusive and representative.

NDI has worked in Egypt since 1995 when it helped support Egypt’s first domestic election observation initiative. In 2005 and again in 2010, NDI assisted civil society organizations conduct the first officially sanctioned election observation in Egypt for the presidential and parliamentary elections.

In April 2011, NDI was provided a two-year grant totaling $14 million to assist Egyptian democratic reform efforts by the U.S. Department of State and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Throughout 2011 NDI’s programs included sharing international experiences on democratic transitions, training for the long-term development of political parties, and assistance to civil society organizations engaged in election monitoring, civic education and nonpartisan voter education. NDI’s programs include opportunities for Egyptian political and civic activists to exchange ideas and lessons learned with former senior government and military officials from Chile, Indonesia and Poland and other countries that have had successful democratic transitions. Unfortunately on Dec. 29, 2011, security forces from the Egyptian government raided NDI’s offices in Cairo, Alexandria and Assiut, as well as those of nine other Egyptian and foreign nongovernmental organizations. Court proceedings against NDI’s staff began in Cairo on Feb. 26, 2012, and continued through the rest of 2012 with a verdict anticipated on June 4, 2013. They are charged with managing an unlicensed nongovernmental organization and receiving funds from the U.S. government without the approval of the Egyptian government.

Pictured above: Candidates at a debate organized by Partners in Change in Manufiyah

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Political Parties

Historically, elections in Egypt have largely amounted to competitions among candidates at the constituent level based on personality and connections rather than any tie to ideology or to national or regional policy platforms and campaign messages. Parties need to be positioned to present strong and inclusive platforms on issues considered important by the voting public. NDI assists political parties develop strategic party platforms and campaigns that resonate with voters through a campaign counterpart program that brings highly skilled campaign experts to Egypt to conduct party consultations and trainings on topics such as campaign management, message development and get out the vote (GOTV). NDI assists party officials build coalitions among like-minded parties in order to consolidate support and use campaign and party resources more effectively. The Institute has developed an extensive library of multi-media resources in Arabic related to democratic development, and provides these free for download on its Arabic language web portal for Egyptian activists.

Civil Society Strengthening

To strengthen citizen participation and oversight of political processes, NDI is helping its long-term civic partners engage in election and political process monitoring, civic and voter education, organize candidate debates, and advocate for electoral reform. NDI helps domestic observation organizations with expert support on cutting edge election observation techniques (SMS-based) to monitor the presidential and parliamentary elections, including parallel vote tabulation to verify the official results of the elections.

Capitalizing on the enthusiasm for new media in Egypt, NDI is working with civic groups to develop civic education and voter awareness campaigns on Facebook, YouTube and other new media.

Women and Youth

The legitimacy of Egypt’s transition could be compromised by the lack of participation of large segments of the citizenry, most notably women and youth. Increasingly, women and youth have been more involved in political party and civil society activities, including as candidates and leaders of nongovernmental organizations; however, parties still largely ignore women and youth in policy debates and platform development processes. NDI encourages political parties to devise appropriate policy responses on these issues, and conducts skills-building workshops for women and youth to become a more significant part of the decision-making processes in parties and civil society.

Contact Information

For more information about these programs, use our contact form or contact:

Washington, D.C.
Barrie Freeman, Director of North Africa Programs
(202) 728-5482

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10/04/2013 | Council on Foreign Relations
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01/07/2012 | The New York Times
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Published Publication Title Author
01/01/2014 Civic Updates
Civic Update
National Democratic Institute
06/12/2013 American NGOs Under Attack in Morsi's Egypt: Testimony by Kenneth Wollack Before the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa
Testimony
Kenneth Wollack
02/27/2012 A letter to Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi
Letter
Madeleine K. Albright et al.
02/16/2012 Statement by Kenneth Wollack President, National Democratic Institute Before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs “Egypt at a Crossroads”
Testimony
Kenneth Wollack
01/05/2012 NDI Preliminary Statement on Third Round of Voting in Egypt’s People’s Assembly Elections
Statement
National Democratic Institute
01/02/2012 NDI Egypt's Registration Applications
Document
National Democratic Institute
12/16/2011 NDI Egypt Preliminary Election Statement Round Two
Statement
National Democratic Institute
11/30/2011 NDI Egypt Preliminary Election Statement
Statement
National Democratic Institute
10/24/2011 Political Party Newsletter - Egypt
Newsletter
National Democratic Institute
12/22/2010 Party-building in the Middle East
Article
Leslie Campbell
11/20/2010 Egypt Elections 2010
Newsletter
National Democratic Institute
09/01/2010 Confidence, Capacity, Connections: A Young Woman's Guide to Leadership (Now available in Chinese)
Manual|Handbook
Gabriella Borovsky, Sarah Cherrabi El Alaoui, Megan Doherty
11/06/2009 New Media to Support Arab Women's Political Participation
Opinion
Mona Qurashi
12/01/2008 NDI Reports: A Review of the Activities of the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs
Newsletter
National Democratic Institute
12/07/2005 Independent Committee on Election Monitoring (Egypt) Run-Off for Third Phase of the Parliamentary Election Press Statement
Statement
Independent Committee on Election Monitoring
12/07/2005 Egyptian Parliamentary 2005 Elections Third Phase Run-Off Election, 9 Governorates
Statement
Egyptian Association for Supporting Democratic Development
12/01/2005 Egyptian 2005 Parliamentary Elections Phase III Press Statements
Press Release
Egyptian Association for Supporting Democratic Development
12/01/2005 Independent Committee on Election Monitoring (Egypt) Phase III Press Statements
Statement
Independent Committee on Election Monitoring
12/01/2005 NDI 2005 Annual Report
Report
National Democratic Institute
11/26/2005 Egyptian Association for Supporting Democratic Development Final 2005 Election Press Release
Press Release
Egyptian Association for Supporting Democratic Development