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Doha Debates due in Egypt for first time

The Doha Debates will be hosted in Egypt for the first time, signaling a new democratic atmosphere following the 25 January popular revolt

Hatem Maher , Sunday 13 Mar 2011
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Several opposition figures will participate in the Qatar Forum for Free Speech (The Doha Debates), which will be held at the American University in Cairo (AUC) Tahrir campus, to discuss postponing Egypt's upcoming parliamentary elections.

Shahir George, a prominent opposition figure, activist Marwa Sharaf, Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Essam El-Eryan and El-Wafd Executive Committee member Sherif Taher will take part in the meeting.

There have been widespread calls to postpone upcoming parliamentary elections to give new parties the chance to become established after the fall of an autocratic regime by way of popular revolt.

There are concerns that the National Democratic Party (NDP), which ruled Egypt for more than 30 years, could gain the lion’s share of seats in parliament if elections are held too soon.

The Doha Debates was hosted in Tunisia last month following the country’s uprising, which toppled former President Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali.

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