The first-round results, mixed feelings

The results are now confirmed : in the run-off, Egyptians will have to choose between the Muslim Brother candidate Morsi and the former Mubarak-regime Shafiq.

For many, this is a really depressing choice. Mubarak against the Muslim Brothers, that’s what politics before the Revolution looked like.
Have Egyptian so soon lost faith in the Revolution and in a possible real democratic life?
Let’s not state the obvious and say that anyway this was not a regime change but just the toppling of a leader. Who won? A man from the establishment and a man from the most organised Mubarak-era opposition group, the Muslim Brotherhood. Either someone who will not change anything or someone who will bring more social conservatism to Egypt, and very possibly also a one-party politics. Why were they chosen? Likely because, as they represent systems that are already known, they are seen as more likely to provide stability than more refreshing candidates. And in such a period, with the economy worsening, with the police still being mainly absent, as it resents the attacks it suffered as a symbol of teh Mubarak regime, many people crave the stability that the one from the former regime or the one from the organisation who provides charity social care promise. Also, many say that the Copts (an estimated 10 per cent of the population) might have voted for Shafiq so as to avoid an Islamist candidate – but they seem to have voted for Sabahi as well. And on the other hand, the craving for corruption-free politics probably led many people in Egypt, as in other countries, to think the Muslim Brothers and their faith-based morals are a worthy option. And, actually, the Brotherhood would never have been able to secure so many votes had there been no revolution.
The low turn-out also hints at a possible despair at any possibility of quick political change: there was only little more than a 46.42 per cent turnout.

However, it has to be noticed that actually most of the voters did not vote for these two candidates. None of the presidential candidates in Egypt got more than 11 percent of registered voters or a quarter of those who voted in first round. Morsi got 25 per cent of the votes, Shafiq 24 per cent. So 51 per cent of the voters voted for someone else than these two people.
Moreover, the third candidate, the leftist Nasserist Sabahi, is actually very close to the first two ones. He got 21 per cent of the votes. Between him and Shafiq, 700 000 votes only. And he won in the two biggest cities, Cairo and Alexandria.
It is not a sweeping victory for either of the first two candidates. The establishment is receding, and so is the new establishment, the Muslim Brotherhood: their performance is nowhere as good as it was only a few months ago at the parliamentary elections (where the turn-out was also a lot better) : optimistic Hani Shukrallah, editor in chief of Ahram online, says on twitter : “It’s not a new dawn of the MB we are witnessing, nor a revival of the police state a la Mubarak, but the twilight of both.”

Indeed, the “liberal” Islamist who left the Brotherhood and who also appealed to many pro-revolution voters whom a Muslim discourse did not scare off, Aboul Fotouh, got almost 18 per cent. The fifth one is a former Mubarak Foreign Affairs Minister, but also the former Arab League head, and he is a liberal who claimed not to be that connected to Mubarak: he got a little more than 11 per cent of the votes.
Finally, an Islamist, Mohammed Selim El-Awwa, got approximately one per cent of the votes. The human rights activist and lawyer Khaled Ali comes seventh and got less than one per cent of the votes.
Hisham Al-Bastawisi got less than 0.15 per cent.

Some people hoped that Morsi would withdraw in favour of a pro-Revolution candidate. It was very unlikely, given that the FJP (Freedom and Justice Party, the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood) also presents itself as a guard of the revolution.

The Electoral Committee said that 500 000 votes had been nullified and that there had been voting irregularities, but that the irregularities as a whole did not affect the results of the election. Some people argue that if the invalid votes are more than what any of the candidates received, the validity of the elections should be reconsidered.
Appeals were not considered because they were made after the first results and not during the elections themselves.

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Muslim Brotherhood candidate Morsi in the run-off?

“Renaissance: the will of the people”

So far polls can not tell us anything. There is still another voting day, and results should not be available before Tuesday. But some attempted to poll randomly voters exiting from the polling stations.
The Muslim Brotherhood candidate was not in the frontrunners according to all the previous polls, but he now is.
“If the non-Islamist vote splits between abstention, Shafiq, Moussa, and the handful of former opposition figures, that base might still be enough to propel Morsi to the run-off. But it would likely not be enough to carry him to the presidential palace,” says Elijah Zarwan.
According to a preliminary Moussa campaign exit poll, Morsy is in the lead near the end of the first day, while Moussa is in second, Abouel Fotouh is third, Nasserist candidate Hamdeen Sabbahi is fourth, and Shafiq is fifth.
Al Badil (lefty) newspaper thinks the same, Morsi first. But then they see Fotouh, then Moussa, then Shafiq, then finally Sabahi.
The Center of studies for Rights and Citizenship sees Morsi first as well. Then Fotouh, Shafiq, and fourth Moussa, then Sabahi.

A blogger and political analyst, Mahmoud Salem, wrote : “Morsi secured the Muslim Brotherhood votes because he unquestionably represents that bloc. Sabahy, a non-Islamist through and through, got almost all of the ElBaradei and revolutionary votes, and Shafiq has become the great hope of old-regime backers because he has been very vocal about his opposition to the revolution and because he stands as a reminder of the so-called good old days under Mubarak, when everything worked, the streets were secure, and Islamists didn’t dare attempt the shenanigans they want to engage in now. Those respective groups finally found the candidate that they feel comfortable supporting, which leads us to the ultimate question: who, exactly, will vote for Fotouh and Moussa?
Fotouh still has the backing of a few revolutionary supporters, including such famous leftist activists as Wael Khalil and the revolution’s onetime symbol Wael Ghonim. But even they are finding it harder to defend him as he journeys around the country with the Salafis or issues statements about his intentions to shut down alcohol factories.
Liberal votes are divided among those who choose to back Moussa because he is an acceptable compromise, those who will back Shafiq because their friends are doing so, and those who will hold their nose and vote for the Nasserite Sabahi because they believe he won’t compromise on civil liberties, even if it means hurting their economic interests.”

The presidential election, a pointless game?

A gloomy reflexion by writer Khaled Al Khamissi, and an excellent summary though

“Mohamed Morsy, Ahmed Shafiq, Abdel Moneim Abouel Fotouh and Amr Moussa have received funding for their campaigns, and their posters can be found everywhere.
Mohamed Morsy and Abouel Fotouh are opposed to the civil camp that advocates human rights, while Shafiq and Moussa belong to a camp opposed to the values of social justice.
Oddly enough, two of those candidates have been able to penetrate the civil front.
Abouel Fotouh, for one, presents an ambiguous platform. He has also been able to spread the idea that he belongs to the revolutionary camp.
Some liberal powers support Moussa’s candidacy because he is an old man who would not want to run for a second presidential term and who is believed to have no financial or political ambitions. He is thought to be the perfect pick for the transitional period.

Shafiq and Morsy, meanwhile, are blatant opponents to revolutionary and civil powers. The first belongs to the army, while the other to the Brotherhood. The first promotes a police state and the second a religious one.

Who can succeed in this farce called elections without pumping tens of millions of Egyptian pounds into them?
the businessmen loyal to the Mubarak regime, who benefited from his economic policies and who are opposed to any “revolutionary” change that could damage their financial and economic interests and the backward businessmen involved in the petrodollar system who support a seriously reactionary political power.

Many of those belonging to the revolutionary and civilian forces feel that the upcoming presidential election is nothing more than an unavoidable dark nightmare. The revolutionary camps oscillate between positive and negative boycott, the former through invalidating their votes in the polling station. Other pro-revolution groups support the idea of ​​voting for one of the candidates vowing to establish a country that upholds the law and safeguards human rights, freedom and social justice for its citizens — in other words, one of those candidates who has no chance of winning in this elections.”

Poll shows a run-off between two Mubarak-era figures, Moussa and Shafiq

Candidates Amr Moussa and Ahmed Shafiq come first according to a poll published Saturday in state-owned Al-Ahram newspaper.

However, Moussa has lost a lot of support. It probably benefited Nasserist candidate Hamdeen Sabahi. People who want to elect a liberal but not a former Mubarak Minister go for the one who was always in the opposition.
Shafiq is second.

In this poll, Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh lost his third place in favour of Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohammad Morsi.

Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies conducted the poll.

Egyptians abroad elect Morsi, Shafiq or Fotouh

The results of the polls of Egyptian abroad will be announced soon.
587,000 Egyptians are registered to vote abroad, most of them in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. In Saudi Arabia, where 262,000 Egyptian expats are registered to vote, the Muslim Brother candidate Mohammad Morsi came first. 119,000 live in Kuwait and they chose Morsi as well.

In the United States, former Muslim Brother Aboul Fotouh leads the race in the states of Houston and Chicago, while Mubarak-era Minister and General Ahmed Shafiq won in New York and Los Angeles.

According to the Khaled Said‘s page, the final election results for Egyptian voters abroad would be as follows:

1) Dr. Mohamed Morsi (more than 30%)
2) Dr. Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh (27 to 30%)
3) Hamdeen Sabahi (15 to 17%)
4) Amr Moussa (12 to 15%)