- By Joshua Keating
Joshua Keating is associate editor at Foreign Policy and the editor of the Passport blog. He has worked as a researcher, editorial assistant, and deputy Web editor since joining the FP staff in 2007. In addition to being featured in Foreign Policy, his writing has been published by the Washington Post, Newsweek International, Radio Prague, the Center for Defense Information, and Romania's Adevarul newspaper. He has appeared as a commentator on CNN International, C-Span, ABC News, Al Jazeera, NPR, BBC radio, and others. A native of Brooklyn, New York, he studied comparative politics at Oberlin College.
The Socialist International — the global federation of center-left parties that includes Britain’s Labour Party and the French Socialist Party — finally got around to expelling Hosni Mubarak’s National Democratic Party this week, after giving Tunisia’s RCD the boot last month. In a letter to the NDP, the International’s Secretary General writes:
The current massive calls being made today by the citizens of Egypt for freedoms and
rights point to the dramatic failure of the Egyptian government to deliver to its people
and to the failings of the NDP to live up to its promises. The use of violence, with scores
dead and injured, is totally incompatible with the policies and principles of any social
democratic party anywhere in the world.
Consequently, we consider that a party in government that does not listen, that does
not move and that does not immediately initiate a process of meaningful change in
these circumstances, cannot be a member of the Socialist International.
We are, as of today, ceasing the membership of the NDP, however we remain
determined to cooperate with all the democrats in Egypt striving to achieve an open,
democratic, inclusive and secular state.
The obvious point here is that it’s a bit rich for the International to suddenly discover that the NDP isn’t democratic — when it joined the federation in 1989, Egypt had already been under emergency rule for nine years. For that matter, it hasn’t even been particularly socialist in recent years.
The International may want to consider a thorough housecleaning of its membership list. I notice, for instance, that still-refusing-to-step-down President Laurent Gbagbo’s Ivorian Popular Front is still listed as a member.