Wednesday, December 7, 2011

AUC Faculty Experts Dissect Election Results

Reposted from AUC Egypt Daily email newsletter

News at AUC December 7, 2011

In the first round of Egypt’s post-revolution parliamentary elections, which were held in nine governorates including Cairo and Alexandria, Islamist parties won 65 percent of all votes cast for parties, with the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party winning 36.62 percent, followed by Al-Nur Party of the hardline Salafis with 24.36 percent and Al-Wasat Party with 4.27 percent. Meanwhile, the liberalist secular alliance, the Egyptian Bloc, secured 13.35 percent of the votes, and the New Wafd Party got 7 percent.

“The coming struggle will most likely be between the Democrats and Islamic fundamentalism,” said Ezzedine Fishere, distinguished lecturer of political science. “That might be a more difficult and protracted struggle, and will have an uncertain outcome. But it will be, I believe, the last political obstacle standing between us Egyptians and a liberal democracy.”

Results in the first round of elections have raised complex questions about Egypt’s future and where it is heading in this new political landscape – one in which Islamists seem to be the dominant force in the country’s transition from military rule. “The scene in Egypt may lead Egyptians to shortly replace police dictatorship with a theocratic dictatorship,” said Said Sadek, a faculty member in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, Psychology and Egyptology. “The task after the elections is immense, especially for the Egyptian economy. A Muslim Brotherhood and Salafi government would further plunge the economy to an abyss. People will rise up in a new revolution against them but after more political and economic disasters would have befallen the Egyptian economy, society, women, religious minorities and human rights.” 

Samer Soliman, assistant professor of political science, expressed a different viewpoint. “The Muslim Brotherhood today is different than that of a decade ago; it has developed and matured,” he said. “Despite some violations, the Muslim Brotherhood worked hard and has a strong base among people; therefore, the results are logical. The liberalists should now organize themselves and work harder to secure a similar popular base among the people.”

Soliman was quick to point out, however, that the “Muslim Brotherhood now has the right to help in the formation of government, but it will never have the right to infringe on human rights.”

While some chose to boycott the elections in light of the recent violence in Tahrir, Khaled Fahmy, chair of the history department, feels the elections were vital. “With these elections, Egypt passed a huge step toward democracy,” he said. “Even though I am against the boycott, I understand and respect those who were calling for it. I do believe, however, that participating in elections is one way, among many, including continuing the Tahrir sit-in, to force the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) out of the picture.”

Nevertheless, Fahmy is discontent with the run-up to the elections. “The law governing elections is a disastrous one that combines the worst features of the single-candidate district model with the worst features of the proportional representation model,” Fahmy explained, adding that “SCAF’s cavalier policies confused both voters and candidates and effectively dissipated the efforts of the new parties, as well as the more established ones, and distracted them to side issues instead of giving them the opportunity to reach out to voters, sharpen their messages, present credible electoral programs and build grassroots organizations with their constituencies. I strongly believe that the Egyptian people deserve a much better elections law than this one, and that after the January 25 Revolution, we were entitled to a much better, more substantial election campaign than what we witnessed.”

With the second and third round of elections looming ahead, as well as the drafting of a new constitution for the country and the 2012 presidential elections, Fishere predicts that Egypt will be witnessing an intense struggle between the Islamists, the military and the liberals. “This election has revealed the relative strength of the different forces in society, and the Islamists now feel more confident,” he said. “Egyptian Democrats who focused their energies on resisting the rule of the military will now have to fight on two fronts.”

1 comment:

  1. “Duaa for Egypt” Campaign حملة الدعاء من أجل مصر

    AsSalaamu alaykum

    Nu'man bin Bashir (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: Messenger of Allah said, 'The believers in their mutual kindness, compassion and sympathy are just like one body. When one of the limbs suffers, the whole body responds to it with wakefulness and fever'. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

    Brothers and Sisters with all the disturbing events that have and are happening in Egypt, please make Duaa دعاء for the stabilization of Egypt and the rectification of the rulers.

    So may Allah (SWT) protect Egypt, the Egyptian people, and the Egyptian rulers and us; guide them and us to the haqq and firmness upon it; rectify all of our affairs; the affairs of the Muslim rulers and all those they rule over.

    May Allah accept,

    Universal Union of Egyptian Expatriates

    ABOUT THIS CAUSE هدف هذه الحملة هو طلب العون من الله لنعبر ببلدنا إلى بر الأمان

    اللهم احفظ مصر واهلها وكل ما فيها