Over the weekend, Egyptian political parties dropped a threat to boycott upcoming parliamentary elections, the first multi-candidate vote since the ouster longtime president, Hosni Mubarak. The parties agreed to take part in the vote after Egypt’s ruling military council vowed to amend a voting law that would have made it easier for former Mubarak allies to return to government. But the military council’s shift fell short of ongoing demands by opposition activists for an end to the military trials of civilians and the lifting of 30-year-old emergency laws. Meanwhile, freedom of the press in Egypt is becoming increasingly limited and a massive strike is underway by teachers and other government workers. Democracy Now! correspondent Sharif Abdel Kouddous has been reporting in Egypt since January, and he joins us in our New York studio just before he returns to Cairo.