The historically significant Egyptian presidential elections are still going on and the race is as contentious as ever. While I think there’s more than enough commentary on the Islamist, liberal and Mubarak-era candidates, the man that catches my attention most is Hamdeen Sabahi. Sabahi’s significance lies in being perhaps the only candidate/leader in Egypt (if not in the Arab spring total) who is both a serious contender and a passionate advocate of the Nasserite tradition, believed by many western commmentators to be on the scrap heap of history. While many would suggest that the Arab spring is revolt first and foremost against the bureaucratic and autocratic tendencies characteristic of Nasserism, less discussed is the possibility of a successful synthesis between Nasserite social awareness and democratic principles. Sabahi sketches out this conjunction in a way compatible with the demands of post-Mubarak Egypt and its different constituencies.
Here’s a discussion of Sabahi, part of Al-Akhbar’s series on the presidential candidates.