Egyptian Cinema Syndicate elections, which began at 9:00 AM today at Cairo’s El-Salam Theater, featured a barrage of electoral propaganda and an unprecedented turnout by syndicate members.
Aggressive campaigns launched by directors Ali Badrakhan, Mosaad Fouda and Khaled Youssef effectively sidelined the three other candidates for the post of syndicate president, namely, television director Shoukri Abu Emeira and animation director Abdel Salam el-Ghoul– neither of whom attended the proceedings–as well as editor Adel el-Nadi.
Badrakhan supporters welcomed voters with flowers and balloons tagged with their contestant’s name, while Fouda supporters engaged a local music band to provide raucous entertainment and chant the name of their candidate. Youssef supporters, for their part, were content with distributing leaflets.
Despite the festive atmosphere, a limited clash erupted between Badrakhan and Fouda supporters when the latter took to the stage in celebration after a preliminary vote count suggested a victory for Fouda.
Following the altercation, proceedings were relocated to the South Cairo Court at 6:00 PM, where the final tally was announced: 1050 votes for Fouda, 801 for Badrakhan and 364 for Youssef.
Fouda supporters then indulged in a second premature celebration before a further announcement was made that a runoff election between Fouda and Badrakhan would be held next Sunday. According to syndicate bylaws, the winner must secure an outright majority of total ballots cast.
Badrakhan’s electoral slogan was, "For a strong syndicate that safeguards your interests and fulfills your ambitions"; Fouda’s was, "To continue serving my fellow syndicate members"; and Youssef’s slogan was, "Choose the candidate that will look out for your rights."
Among the most prominent industry figures in attendance at the El-Salam Theater were film directors Mohamed Khan, Yousry Nasrallah, Sherif Arafa and Dawoud Abd el-Sayed, screenwriter Wahid Hamid, cinematographer Tarek el-Telmesani, and actors Mahmoud Hemeida and Hussein Fahmy.