Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Egypt and the proposed boycott

This is a story that I have been following with great interest. Not only because I have been living here for over four years and have been able to observe the political spectrum, but because of how this election can potentially re-shape the face of Egypt.

With the polls opening in November, the question on many Egyptians minds is who will succeed the Mubarak throne. Will Gamal assume the post after his father, or will the Egyptian political sphere be shaken up and a new name ascend to the "regal" title of President.

I have quite a few friends who are actively campaigning on facebook for the succession of Gamal to the Presidency. This stirs my interest for a few reasons. Firstly, by Gamal winning the post, would it not make it blatantly obvious that Egypt is in fact a monarchy? Or will he also win the post with an astounding 90 percent of the votes in his favour (cough cough, previous elections ring any bells?).

I have previously posted a story about the Egyptian Cultural Minister rallying a group of intellectuals around him to oppose Gamal's campaign. Unfortunately the nature of political reporting in Egypt is such that it can be quite difficult to gather all the details surrounding each story, as many journalists fear the backlash that may occur if they publish something wrong, or slighted, or even remotely challenging.

Mr. Mohammed ElBaradei is a leading figure in the opposition in Egypt. He is currently rallying the Egyptian youth and population to entirely boycott the elections in November, as "Anyone who participates in the vote either as a candidate or a voter goes against the national will." Mr ElBaradei later told reporters: "If the whole population boycotts the elections totally, it will be in my view the end of the regime."

My opinion on the upcoming elections aside, how is boycotting them entirely going to help? If the population really wants to invoke change, wouldn't voting be the way to do that? How is sitting back and doing nothing not a way of asserting that the population no longer cares, that they have accepted the fact that they have no control over their political future.

To read the full article, check here.

1 comment:

  1. Funny! ever considered the percentage of population that 'actually' voted in the last elections. Your 4-year stay perhaps did not overlap with the last elections. (cough cough).

    Boycott?? They have been doing that all along ...