Friday, May 25, 2012

Egypt's Indecision 2012

As two days of elections to choose Egypt's new president drew to a close in Hurghada, initial estimates showed a surprising twist in the candidates in the lead. The presidential elections have been a long awaited, perceived end to the almost 17 month struggle for freedom and democracy in the country. They were seen as a monumental move forward. Yet the initial results trickling in from around Egypt are causing revolutionaries to sit back and wonder if there ever was a revolution in the first place.

To begin with, let's take a look at some of the contenders for the presidency in this race.

Dr. Abd ElMoneim Abo El Fotouh: 
Many initially believed that Abo El Fotouh would be the favourite in the parliamentary elections. His name is familiar with many Egyptians due to his years on cable as a television sheikh. A self-proclaimed Islamist politician, he was jailed three times during the reign of Mubarak due to his pronounced disagreements with many of the regime's policies. A former Muslim Brotherhood member, Abo El Fotouh severed his ties with the party in 2011 following his decision to run for the presidency.

Amr Moussa:
Image courtesy of
Amr Moussa served as the Minister of Foreign Affairs for former President Mubarak's for a decade, and served as the Secretary General of the Arab League from 2001 - 2011.  His candidacy was a hot topic following the initial ruling that no members of the former regime would be eligible to run in the presidential campaign. Moussa has claimed to be a staunch supporter of the Revolution and that he was opposed to the Mubarak regime while in service of the government.

Image courtesy of Wikipedia

Hamdeen Sabahy:
Hamdeen Sabahy is a pro-revolution long term political activist. He is the token left wing candidate in the elections and had a great support base among the Egyptian youth and revolutionaries. Sabahy supports the model implemented by late Preisdent Gamal Abd El-Nasser, and is considered a strong Nationalist. Sabahy has no ties with the former regime.

Image courtesy of Wikipedia

Commander Ahmed Shafiq:
Commander Ahmed Shafiq was one of the more surprising candidates. Having served as Mubarak’s last prime minister, he was still in his post of power on the infamous day of the attack, February 2, 2011, when thugs rode into protests on horseback and camels. He has made his Anti-Revolution stance apparent, and remains a strong supporter of Mubarak, even continuing to regard Mubarak as a good man and a role model. He is an ex-military commander himself and claims to be on good terms with the current ruling military council.

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Dr. Mohamed Morsi:
Dr. Mohamed Morsi is the Muslim Brotherhood's presidential candidate. He is the group’s replacement for Khayrat Al-Shater whose presidential bid was rejected. He served as the chairman of the Muslim Brotherhood political party since the revolution in 2011. He is regarded as relatively unknown to many voters as he wasn’t put forward by the leadership until he was chosen to replace Khayrat AlShater (a prominent leader of the group).

Next up, a blog detailing the initial results from the presidential elections.

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