Egyptian opposition is no longer relegated to the margins of political life, as was the case during the five decades of civilian-military dictatorship. The fall of Hosni Mubarak in early 2011 unleashed a flurry of political activity, and hundreds of new political parties and civil society groups emerged, representing a wide range of ideological currents.
And it’s not all being built from the scratch. Despite successive authoritarian governments, Egypt boasts a long tradition of party politics, with left-wing, liberal, and Islamist groups challenging the power of Egypt’s establishment. Egypt’s strongest opposition movement, the Muslim Brotherhood, came on top of the 2011/12 legislative and presidential elections, but the results were later nullified, sending the Islamists back to the opposition.
The political field remains fiercely competitive. Secular political parties and ultra-conservative religious groups are trying to block the ascendance of the Muslim Brotherhood, while various pro-democracy activist groups keep pressing for radical change promised in the early days of the anti-Mubarak uprising.