Are parliamentary elections – or, for that matter, presidential polls – inevitably rigged in a Muslim country that happens to be strategically placed, oil-rich and allied to Western countries, particularly the US? The answer seems to be "yes".
The presidential election in Egypt on September 7, which returned Husni Mubarak, who has ruled Egypt for 24 years, to a six-year fifth term, is widely seen by both Egyptians and non-Egyptian as having been heavily rigged. The non-Egyptians include foreign media and human-rights observers who condemned the thinly veiled fraud.
Jordan’s parliamentary elections finally took place on June 17, almost two years after the dissolution of the previous parliament at the end of its four-year term in July 2001. Since that time, king Abdullah II had repeatedly postponed elections, citing ‘regional circumstances’.