The prevalent view that this week's presidential election is Egypt's
first experiment with the ballot box is only partly true. Egyptians of a
certain age knew parliamentary life and the competition of political
parties. This was during the liberal interlude between 1923, when the
country became independent from British rule, and 1952.
year a cabal of young military officers led by Muhammad Naguib and
Gamal Abdel Nasser upended the old order, abolished the monarchy—and
delivered Egypt into six decades of authoritarianism.
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