No patriotic Egyptian wants chaos, destruction of facilities, or disruption to economic growth or tourism, and we are all determined to eliminate terrorism at the earliest opportunity. But everyone is very concerned about the future. Yet, the regime does not understand the concerns of Egyptians, which stem from their concern of inefficiency in the regime, demonstrated very publicly through management of the presidential election.
The timing and outcome of the election has been expected for four years. It was known that the president will run, and it was known for all that the president will succeed with ease regardless of the candidate he faces. It is a foregone conclusion in all third world countries, where the democratic process is limited and complex, and the entire state apparatus stands with any president seeking re-nomination. There are no surprises at all, look at what different governmental bodies have done.
Former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq announced his intention to run for the presidency and sought to return to Cairo. He had been in exile in the UAE for a while, and a clear message was delivered that he had been threatened with with an exposure of his personal life. The mouthpieces of governmental bodies in the media distorted him with the worst accusations; three members of his party were arrested, and in the end, Shafiq announced he won’t run in the election, after the world bore witness to the absurdity.
Prior to that, an army colonel announced his candidacy for the elections on YouTube. He was arrested and sentenced to six years’ imprisonment because he violated military laws.
Later, former Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces Sami Anan announced his intention to run for the presidency, but was flooded with accusations that he was affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, before being arrested and referred to a military trial amid further chaos.
This was followed by the assault of former head of Egypt’s Administrative Control Authority Hisham Geneina by thugs. The interior ministry claimed the assault was a result of a quarrel and that the judge was the one who assaulted the thugs. Then, they backtracked under the pressure of public opinion – internally and externally – and the thugs were arrested and released on bail of LE500.
The police refused to transfer Geneina to a hospital for treatment for a lengthily period, which aroused great public anger. This all took place because Geneina had declared that he would serve as a deputy to Anan in the election, in addition to having previously declared that the magnitude and extent of corruption in Egypt was substantial, identifying it in numbers.
Meanwhile, rights lawyer Khaled Ali was doing his best to collect the required number of signatures to authorize his candidacy, while state-owned satellite channels incessantly flooded all kinds of accusations against him. After the arrest of Anan, however, Ali announced at a press conference that he is withdrawing from the electoral battle. In a strong-worded statement that condemned the regime, he said that the electoral process is unfair.
Suddenly, due to a lack of competitors, the regime discovered that the president would run the elections alone, a sole candidate in a referendum. This was feared to potentially decrease the turnout of voters to the extent that it may indicate a loss the regime’s legitimacy, and suddenly the regime’s satellite channels which had previously attacked Ali requested that he return to the race.
This bullying from the group in power is counterproductive and highly damaging to the state.
The prospect of a referendum caused great concern for the regime, but then it considered Sayed al-Badawy, a chairman of an old party who could play a puppet role, and Badawy agreed.
However, the amount of anger and ridicule that Badawy and the regime faced was unexpected. In addition to the exposure of Badawy’s criminal record on the internet which made the candidacy impossible, the Wafd Party were infuriated and voted overwhelmingly against his candidacy.
At the last minute, the regime gave the order to Moussa Mostafa Moussa to run in the elections, after it equipped him with recommendations from 20 MPs – the required amount according to the National Elections Authority (NEA). Despite not revealing their names, it claimed Moussa had demonstrated his power and impressive impact on parliament and its leader Abdelaal. Upon his candidacy, he announced that he supports President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, and would elect him, because his wife loves Sisi.
If the election were to be free, would the outcome change?
On the contrary, Sisi would have succeed in a sweeping victory in a competitive election, perhaps leading to his rise in popularity within the country, and the international recognition of a freely-elected president for the people of Egypt.
The turnout for the elections would have been much higher, which is important because reluctance to vote is a sign of disengagement and exclusion.
We know that all the elections before January 25 were rigged, and the elections succeeding January 25 saw no fraud in the ballot boxes, and I believe that this will continue, because any manipulation to the ballot boxes will completely destroy the credibility of the regime. Such attempts at fraud cannot be disguised, intimidating and slapping fines on people who refuse to vote would be counterproductive.
The performance of the regime since the beginning of the electoral process to its end indicates a severe weakness in the efficiency of the country’s governance.
The matter was decided from the first moment for the benefit of the president, but the use of state resources, ministries, and television in this way does not benefit the president, instead it harms him.
We need stability, and this comes from efficient management of administration and resources.
Therefore, the people are very concerned, we face serious issues threatening Egypt and its future, such as the Nile water access, the economy, nuclear energy, terrorism, the future of Sinai, and the continued population explosion. All of these are of high importance for Egyptians, and we fear that these concerns will be poorly managed, similar to way the presidential election has been managed.
May Lord keep us.
In the words of Sayed Darwish, “Stand up Egyptian, Egypt is calling on you.”