May 27, 2014


Sisi's Big Day Is a Bust : The Egyptian election was supposed to bring the former Army chief to office on a massive wave of popular support. So why did so many voters stay home? (DAVID KENNER MAY 27, 2014, Foreign Policy)

Former Egyptian Defense Minister Abdel Fattah al-Sisi faced the first setback of his effort to consolidate power in Cairo, as voter turnout in the election that was widely expected to bring him to the presidency was reportedly anemic. Despite widespread reports of empty polling stations throughout the country, the Egyptian government took the unusual step of extending the ballot into a third day in an attempt to drum up more voters.

Sisi has touted the importance of overwhelming public participation as vital to confirming the Egyptian people's endorsement of the new political order that followed President Mohamed Morsi's ouster last summer and to giving the incoming president a mandate to rule. The former Army chief said in an interview aired on Egyptian television that he hoped 40 million people, or roughly 75 percent of registered voters, would go to the polls. Both the Sisi campaign and that of his sole challenger, leftist politician Hamdeen Sabahi, objected to the extension of the vote.

In an email to reporters on the afternoon of Tuesday, May 27, the second day of voting, the Sabahi campaign estimated that turnout stood at between 10 and 15 percent. The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights, an independent NGO in Cairo, also estimated turnout at 15 percent after the first day of voting. If the turnout is anywhere close to those numbers, it will be far below what Sisi's supporters were hoping for.

...the Islamists stayed home.

Posted by at May 27, 2014 6:58 PM

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