The Egyptian elections turn bloody
23 mayo, 2014
While whole Europe is looking at the European Parliament this weekend, the upcoming elections in Egypt on May 26th and 27th step behind in international reporting, even though they decide about the fate of Egypt’s next era of president and bring new violence to the republic.
One year after the fall of the Islamic president Mohammed Mursi, the first free elected president of Egypt in November 2011, a new head of state will be elected. Favorite is Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the retired commander of the Egyptian army who deposed President Husni Mubarak. His opponent is the Nasserist left-wing politician, Hamdeen Sabahi. ‘‘Only these two candidates remain after the Muslim Brotherhood was effectively eliminated from Egyptian politics’’, Dr. Mohamad Elmasry , a Visiting Scholar at the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Denver’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies, and an incoming Assistant Professor in the Department of Communications at the University of North Alabama, annotated on Aljazeera.
Sisi is trying to convince the Egyptians with a firm leadership, security, and the close regulation of protests. On the other hand, Sabahi promises social justice and Arab unity, and stands for an independent foreign policy. In 2011, he ran for the president, but only reached the third place after Mohammed Mursi and Ahmed Schafik.
Sabahi proclaimed, in an interview with the BBC , that the elections are unfair. Although, his campaign is facing many problems the chances of Sisis are decisive higher. In the past month, state media gave a prime-television slot to broadcast Sisi’s speech to the Egyptian citizens directly. Sabahi, in contrast, was just shown in a small TV channel that made a documentary about his career. ‘‘If we are talking about these elections really being fair and free, all the candidates should have access to equal representation within the media’’, said H.A. Hellyer, Egypt analyst at the Royal United Services Institute. ‘‘And I just don’t think that’s going to happen unless things drastically change in the next four or five weeks.’’
Meanwhile, Egypt’s population remains skeptical about the nation’s future. A poll result suggests that the nation is more divided than Sisi’s followers claim. Furthermore, it indicates that Sisi may has to look quickly after getting support in a country in which popular unrest has contributed to the downfall of two presidents since 2011.One market worker complained to an Euronews reporter: ‘‘The previous governments stole our money and ran away, left us hungry in the streets. Look at me; I’m 63, standing all day long in the hot sun. I should be retired now, relaxing at home with my earnings.’’
During the period of elections, Egypt remains a dangerous place. In the Alexandria port, two people were shot and 42 Mursi supporters were arrested in protests across Egypt. While most of the recent attacks have targeted the security forces, three South Koreans were killed in February when a bomb hit a tourist bus in South Sinai near a border crossing with Israel. Currently, before the elections new riots are coming up. Just on Sunday a policeman and a soldier were shot dead during an attack of the members of security near Cairo. Since the fall of Mursi in July 2013 , many attacks occurred of who’s the Muslim Brothers are allegedly responsible, blame that they refuse. Sisi excludes reconciliation with the ‘‘terroristic organization’’. Also, there were repeated crashes between Christians and Muslims took place.
Consequently, the number of tourists, who are an important source of foreign currency for Egypt’s economy, has dwindled over more than three years of political turmoil. The new Egyptian president, therefore, will be face several challenges.
If the elections won’t yield a clear result there is going to be a second round of elections on June 16th and 17th.