Mosaad Fouda won Cinema Syndicate runoff elections today by a slim, 57-vote margin to become the syndicate’s new president.
Fouda secured 1170 votes, while acclaimed filmmaker Ali Badrakhan–Fouda’s chief rival for the post–garnered 1113 out of a total of 2283 ballots cast.
Voting began at 9 AM at Cairo’s El-Salam Theatre, where the turnout was lower and the process considerably more orderly than at the boisterous first round of elections held on 21 February.
Nevertheless, Fouda supporters were accompanied by a raucous local music band–as they had been last week–while some attendees complained of photographers and unidentified non-syndicate members roaming freely upon the stage on which votes were counted.
Polling closed at 5 PM before a final vote count was taken at El-Salam Theatre. Results were announced at the South Cairo Court shortly afterward, although news of Fouda’s victory had already been leaked.
Director Khaled Youssef–another contender for the post who had managed to secure 364 votes in the first round–had appeared at El-Salam Theatre to show his support for Badrakhan. Youssef was expected to make the official announcement at the courthouse, but was vehemently booed out by disapproving syndicate members. Youssef left the building only minutes before the announcement was made.
Overcome with joy, Fouda supporters hoisted their candidate up on their shoulders following the announcement, chanting "Mosaad Fouda is our president." Excited by the ascendancy of a candidate who has long prioritized the demands of radio and television broadcasters, they shouted: "Here, here, here, television is here."
Seemingly undeterred by the turn of events, Badrakhan supporters, too, continued to chant their candidate’s name as they left the courthouse.
Former presidents of the Cinema Syndicate, which was established in 1955, include directors Mohamed Kareem, Ahmed Badrakhan, Fouad el-Gazaierly and Hussein Helmy el-Mohandes, playwright Saad el-Dein Wahba and producer Mamdouh el-Leithy.