Saturday, May 26, 2012

Egyptian Presidential election defeats hopes of change

Mursi (L) & Shafiq (R)
The provisional results with some 90% of the vote counted and no known reports of irregularities (yet?), suggest that the runoff will be between two far-right candidates: the Islamist Mohamed Mursi and the former minister of Mubarak Ahmed Shafiq. 

The big hopeful of the revolutionary youth, the Left-Nasserist Hamdeen Sabbahi seems to be third, not enough to take part in the runoff. 

This result should not be too surprising since the Islamists (two different branches, one of which saw their presidential candidate banned) collected above 65% of the vote in the elections for Parliament

According to Ahram the provisional results (43% turnout) are:

1. Mursi (Muslim Brotherhood) 5,553,097 (25.30%)
2. Shafiq (ind., ex-Mubarak minister) 5,210,978 (23.74%)
3. Sabbahi (Nasserist, Dignity Party) 4,739,983 (21.60%)
4. Abul-Fotouh (ind. former Arab League President)3,936,264 (17.93%)
5. Moussa (ind.) 2,407,837 (10.97%)

The urban-rural divide is quite apparent in the results from Cairo (final), where Sabbahi won and the Islamists scored rather low:
  1. Sabbahi 993,464 (34.6%)
  2. Shafiq 744,138 (25.9%)
  3. Mursi 579,715 (20.1%)
  4. Abul-Fotouh 553,200 (19.2%)
The feeling in Cairo is that the Revolution is dying. A Sabbahi campaign volunteer, a young actor named Suleiman, told Al Jazeera that:

It's bad for me, as a youth, to see the revolution dying. Most Egyptians disappointed me.

So far it is not clear which will be the role of the President, as the new constitution still has to be drawn, but Egypt has a long history of monarchs and strong presidents, so it's hard to imagine it performing just a protocol role as happens in so many European republics. 

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