Political scientists Alfred Stepan and Juan Linz argue, in an article for Project Syndicate, that a democratic transition following the reportedly imminent resignation of Hosni Mubarak would be best served by the institution of a parliamentary system, rather than a new presidential election:

Most activists and commentators are now asking who will or should be the next president. But why assume that a presidential political system, headed by a powerful unitary executive, will be instituted? Of the eight post-communist countries that are now in the European Union, not one chose such a system. All of them established some form of parliamentary system, in which the government is directly accountable to the legislature and the president’s powers are limited (and often largely ceremonial).

That was a wise decision. A presidential election at a moment of great uncertainty, and in the absence of experienced democratic parties or broadly accepted leaders, is filled with danger.

Read the entire article at Project Syndicate.