Egypt elections extended as Sisi's backers embarrassed by low turn-out
Pro-regime television stations
suffer meltdown as predictions of overwhelming support for military strongman
fail to materialiseBy Richard Spencer, Cairo
extra day, one of a series of drastic measures to increase a low turn-out amid
fears for the credibility of the country’s new strongman Abdulfattah el-Sisi.
The military, political and media establishments have been boasting for
months of Mr Sisi’s overwhelming popularity as the man who led the coup that
overthrew the Muslim Brotherhood’s President Mohammed Morsi last year.
But the election meant to herald his appointment has seen much lower
turn-outs than expected, suggesting that a boycott called by the Brotherhood
and left-wing opposition groups had some success. The young were particularly
noticeable by their absence at polling stations.
Live television footage from around the country showed embarrassingly empty
rooms with bored looking election officials doing nothing.
Last night, the Supreme Elections Committee, which had already ordered
polling stations to stay open an extra hour, said they were extending the vote
for a third day on Wednesday.
They had already sent out text messages reminding voters that they could be
subject to a 500 Egyptian pound fine (GBP45) for not turning up. In theory,
voting in elections is compulsory but turn-out has rarely gone far above 50 per
cent and fines are virtually unheard of.
Tuesday was also declared an impromptu day off to give people more time to
More extreme statements to boost the vote included the revelation that
voters marking slips with hearts or “I love” would not be held to have spoiled
“If you write 'I love' before one of the names, it still counts,” Abdel Aziz
Salman, secretary to the elections committee, said.
Mr Sisi had called for voters to turn out in “unprecedented numbers” at the
start of what passed for his campaign - a series of soft interviews with television
stations and rallies staged by supporters which he did not attend in person for
fear of assassination by his many enemies.
The Egyptian political establishment is desperate to ensure a high level of
support for Mr Sisi, who is expected to win by a landslide over the Leftist
Apart from domestic legitimacy, foreign powers including the European Union,
which has sent an observer mission, and the United States have indicated that
future relations depend on the conviction with which the country tries to
restore democracy after last year’s violence, in which thousands of people were
Egyptian generals believe that full US military aid, particularly vital as
they fight a terrorist insurgency in the Sinai and deal with instability in
neighbouring Libya, will be restored if the election is successful.
Reports of the low turn-out sent panic through the state and private media,
which have been near-hysterical in singing the praises of Mr Sisi, who stood down
as field marshal and minister of defence to stand for office. They have
repeatedly claimed that the entire nation is standing behind him in the face of
foreign plots to divide the country, led by the United States.
“I think I will kill myself,” Tawfik Okasha, one particularly well-known
face, said, as his co-host reported evidence that electors were heeding the
Brotherhood’s boycott call.
They pressed ahead with the media’s favoured metaphor, in which Mr Sisi is
regularly portrayed as a handsome, loving but firm groom, come to rescue the
fragile maiden that is modern Egypt.
“Where is our democratic wedding?” Mr Okasha’s co-host, Hayat al-Dardeeri,
screamed at the camera in frustration. “Where are the guests? Are you happy
just to see a few women dancing outside the polling stations? Is that enough
for you?” Their supporters were equally upset. One clip circulated widely on
social media revealed a middle-aged woman breaking down in tears as she
explained to the presenter of a call-in show how few people there were when she
went to cast her ballot.
“The polling station was empty, Mr Ahmed,” she said, sobbing. “It’s just so
sad. After all he’s done for us too! He doesn’t deserve this from us.”
Some polling stations reported an “average turn-out”. In the middle class
district of Masry Gadida in Egypt, young women wielding the national flag
talked of their gratitude to Mr Sisi for having seen off the Muslim
Brotherhood, seen as a threat to liberal values.
“I voted for him and so did all my friends,” said Salwa al-Said, 27, who had
accompanied her 95-year-old grandmother, Kadra al-Said, to the ballot.
But in Muslim Brotherhood strongholds turn-out many complained of Mr Sisi’s
repression and stayed at home, while even in Cairo a large-scale failure of the
young to go to the ballot box was evident in the queues of those who did turn
up. Nearly two thirds of the Egyptian population is under 30.
Turn out in the run-off for the 2012 election was 52 per cent, and the
military and security establishments which have pushed Mr Sisi forward as their
new strongman were hopeful of matching that.
Mr Sabbahy is generally popular but not taken particularly seriously by
large sections of the country, in particular his more urban, sophisticated
support base. He is thought unlikely to muster more than 15 per cent of the
The Muslim Brotherhood, whose president Mohammed Morsi was overthrown amid
violent scenes last summer, called for a boycott of the whole election process,
including January’s constitutional referendum, as a way of undermining Mr
Sisi’s image when he becomes leader.
Left-wing groups joined in the boycott after some of their leaders were also
elected government by an illegal mean punishable with death for violation of
Constitution of the country.
all people of importance of political parties to clear own position to win the
election and become President of the country all on a sudden now got struck
because of low voters attendance, is indeed very sad and speaks volume of the
General's future days.
what would happen in General's case. The history about the future of such
illegal self made forcefully imposed Leader of the country is not very
encouraging rather very regrettably sad and painful.
back GOD severely punished a tyrant and a audacious obstinate filthy brute by
the name of
drowning them for ever in the Nile river for torturing the follower of the then
prophet believers of GOD almighty.
the religious followers of the three sister religions Judaism, Christian and
Islam. Thus it is obvious that it is also must be known to the Great
Presidential candidate the General. Public thinks there is no difference
between his case and FERRAOON's case.
bring down peace and tranquility in EGYPT once again as HE did by Drowning
FERRAOON and his followers.......Amen