The first woman elected to head an Egyptian political party says evidence suggests the country is not heading toward democratic rule.

Hala Shukrallah, a 59-year-old Coptic Christian, says the military-backed authorities have little tolerance for dissent, criticizing their security crackdown that brought mass detentions and trials over the past months.

"The road map to democracy is being compromised," Shukrallah told The Associated Press Monday in an interview at her Cairo home in the upscale district of Mohandessin.

Shukrallah was elected over the weekend to lead the liberal Constitution Party, succeeding Mohamed ElBaradei, the former interim vice president who resigned in protest against last summer's deadly crackdown on sit-in protests by supporters of the Islamist president, removed by the military in July.