Neil Hicks, international policy adviser for Human Rights First, wrote in an article in the Washington Post that he agreed with the Assistant Secretary of State, Michael Posner, that Egypt’s upcoming presidential elections may represent a chance for democracy in Egypt.
He doubted, however, that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak will alter his 30-year policy on political reform. He stressed that it was imperative that there be significant pressure for changes.
According to Posner, concrete steps must be taken by the Egyptian government such as eliminating its Emergency Law enforced since Mubarak's coming into power and abused by the Interior Ministry through its security personnel. Political opposition mostly those from the Muslim Brotherhood are continually harrassed by security where they face arbitrary arrests and indefinite detentions in custody. Posner also stressed that permitting international monitors during the election, is necessary adding that this could only be achieved through a concerted effort by the US government. Only through this will there be any chance for the long-promised reforms and true democracy.
If the US administration is genuine in its wishes for political reform in Egypt as it highlighted during Obama's historical address in Cairo, a tough message must be delivered and with much more pressure and consistency from high ranking officials of the government, namely the president and the secretary of state.