Egypt: Presidential elections soon – situation is in general unstable

Posted: May 21, 2012 in International
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In Egypt, the countdown for the presidential elections is running. The presidential elections in Egypt are scheduled for May 23 and 24.

However, the first ballots for the presidential elections have already arrived in the capital Cairo. These ballots are from the Egyptians living abroad, which are able to vote at the Egyptian embassies since the 11 of this month.

A total of 13 candidates are standing for election. The candidates for the Egyptian presidential elections were published on a list on April 26. The choice of conditions for the upcoming presidential elections made it impossible for some candidates to compete, because, due to the citizenship of their parents or because of a stay in a prison, they were finally not allowed to run for this office.

Especially the leading candidate of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood was therefore ineligible for the presidential elections, because in the times of Mubarak, he was imprisoned and was released from prison only some time ago.

The provisions for the Egyptian presidential elections make it clear that a stay in a prison has to be at least six years ago, to be able to candidate for this high office in Egypt. It seems that the Muslim Brotherhood has shot oneself in the foot with the list of order of the political changes in Egypt.

In Tunisia, for example, there was first a convened of a constitutional convention, which has delivered the political framework for the future of Tunisia, before the elections were finally scheduled.

In Egypt, they bridled the horse on the other way around, and started with the Parliamentary elections already in 2011, followed by the elections to the Shura Council in early 2012. And now are the Presidential elections before a new Constitution for Egypt will be drafted.

The Muslim Brotherhood, who wants to secure a say in work for the Constitution, had to bite the bullet and to withdraw its top candidate for the presidential elections. Of course, that does not mean that they are not able to win the upcoming presidential elections in Egypt. Although it is still hard to predict which party and presidential candidate will win these elections, it seems clear that the Islamist forces should be able to prevail.

Although the Muslim Brotherhood is sold as “moderate” since the beginning of the so-called “Arab Spring” by Western media and some Western politicians, but there are serious doubts that this is really the fact. Not only have some said that this is nothing more than a fairy tale.

It seems that some in the West are only searching for a definition that justifies the work with the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafists. Considering Germany and perhaps Australia, it seems that these Governments do not like Salafists in their own country, but still support these radical powers abroad. Of course, for own interests in foreign countries.

Among the votes that were already collected by the Egyptians abroad, it seems that the former Muslim Brotherhood member Abul Futuh leads the run at the moment, but also the Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mursi was already able to collect many voices, especially by the Egyptians in Sudan and Yemen.

It appears that the Muslim Brotherhood and the Islamic forces are actually able to expand and strengthen their power. Whether Egypt is then routed through to a Islamic state is difficult to predict. The religion will have an important role to play, for sure (perhaps even more intense than before).

Whether the religious guidelines then tilt into Islamists guidelines is difficult to anticipate, because the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafists do not proceed indiscriminately. The Salafists and Muslim Brotherhood are calculating very well, what they are doing.

One should be carefully to prevent a misjudgment of Muslim Brotherhood and Salafism / Salafists, even when both currently present an open and tolerant behavior. The Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafists are Islamist groups that have as objective the establishment of a Theocratic State under an Islamic model. Anyone displaced or downplays this danger, as it is currently happening, goes on very thin ice.

It is questionable whether a presidential candidate is really able to improve Egypt and able to lead it in a modern state after his election. Whether he is able to bring hope and courage back to the Egyptians is also questionable. It stands well in the stars if he will be able (and even interested) to fulfill those hopes. Not to mention the general development of Egypt.

So far, the general situation in the country is very unstable. The country is still in a downward spiral, which was not stopped until now; there were no defined policy framework for changes. The Muslim Brotherhood, who have a majority in the Egyptian parliament, and the Military Council in Egypt are currently trying to negotiate a course, but both are not taking actions against the further poverty and discontent of the Egyptian people. Hopefully, this will happen soon.

It there are no solutions soon, that benefit the Egyptians and which ensure that poverty and unemployment and other social problems can be really addressed, the problems and the violence will escalate in Egypt again, at least, in the capital Cairo.

All Egyptian Presidential candidates speak about Israel in their election platform. All these candidates promise to revise the peace of Camp David. Some of the candidates even speak about the enemy Israel. But they have to do it carefully, because nobody wants to really totally annoy the Americans, so that suddenly the “needed” money tap is getting turned off by the United States.

Instead of focusing on domestic (political) issues, all the candidates focus on foreign policy. The allegedly change of Camp David and the harsh tones against Israel are no benefit for Egypt`s economic and social progress, not an inch.

One can only hope that this will not distract from the real domestic problems in Egypt and the actual inability of the most candidates to tackle these political and social problems within Egypt.


  1. Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mursi tops Egypt’s expat polls

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