Marc Lynch worries:
Egypt's election will continue for six weeks. Next week will be the run-off for round one, and then two more rounds will follow. Voting will not conclude until January. This creates a very different dynamic. Instead of one, adrenaline-fueled moment of enthusiasm which can slice through the political polarization and inevitable complaints, Egypt is going to have long weeks to digest and dissect each round of voting. Today's enthusiasm could fade as the elections become a weekly grind. That gives all too many opportunities for provocateurs unhappy with the results of previous rounds to plot mischief — including not only disaffected political trends, but also foreign actors or the SCAF, should Islamists do as well as expected.
Issandr El Amrani takes stock:
I don't want to compare Egypt, a country that has been largely stable and at peace for nearly three decades, with the failed state that Congo is, with its two decades of civil war and millions dead. But the shortcomings of this process is something every Egyptian should be aware of, and they should make sure that the people who put them in this position — SCAF, the interim government, and the political class (notably Islamists and parties loyal to SCAF like al-Wafd). Egypt is capable of better, and I hope some of the proposals for a better transition model (those by revolutionary groups or Mohamed ElBaradei, for instance) get a hearing. The big question will be whether the new parliament will use the legitimacy of having been elected to change things, and work to establish a solid base for the country.
Egyptian election ballot from the Arabist.