DEMOCRACY IN EGYPT?….Is Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak serious about introducing democracy to Egypt? Abu Aardvark rounds up some of the regional press reaction:

The Arab press seems to be mulling it over just like Egyptians are, trying to figure out whether this is a serious step forward or a clever move by Mubarak to pre-empt real reform. Al Quds al Arabi runs the most skeptical piece today saying that “the opposition considers Mubarak’s change of the contitution to be a superficial change to satisfy Bush”: no plausible candidates to compete with him, election rules which guarantee his victory, and preparation for a democratic inheritance (i.e. succession).

….Meanwhile, al Hayat reports that opposition parties are exploring their options about who might compete against Mubarak….On the editorial front, I’ve seen some cheerleading from al Sharq al Awsat (Ahmed al Rubai thinks that this is a major step forward which only congenital skeptics could have doubts about….

The Aardvark also recommends this more extensive roundup from Charles Levinson.