Egyptians Go to the Polls

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Consider also that voters are electing a parliament with no defined constitutional duties. Once parliament is seated sometime next January, members will select a committee to write a new constitution. No doubt the military will have a lot to say about the drafting of the document, as Chief of Staff Mohamed Hussein Tantawi has said that there will be “no change” in the role of the military in the new constitution. If Tantawi gets his way, it would mean that the Egyptian military would still have virtual immunity from scrutiny, as well as continued domination of the economy.

Significantly, the Muslim Brotherhood appears to have come down on the side of the military in trying to dismiss the Tahrir Square demonstrators. Tantawi upbraided the protestors, hinting that they were being manipulated by foreign powers. “None of this would have happened if there were no foreign hands. We will not allow a small minority of people, who don’t understand, to harm Egypt’s stability,” he said. The leader of the Brotherhood, Mohammed Badie, echoed the junta’s line, saying, “There are powers inside and outside Egypt that don’t want stability for Egypt or development, and this is something that is being pushed and paid for,” he said.

How this cozying up to the military will affect the Brotherhood’s vote is unknown. If the turnout tops 50%, it is estimated by some that the FJP could receive as much as 35%-50% of the vote. But there is no track record to go on except for the vote in 2005 when the Brotherhood’s candidates ran as independents. At that point, it received 20% of the vote — a total it is sure to exceed this year.

Protecting the military’s economic interests, particularly in the Western-oriented tourist industry in which one in eight Egyptians work, means no radical changes will immediately take place, despite the fact that the Brotherhood has been promoting the idea of change during the campaign. It is a delicate balance and could mean that the FJP follows the example of Turkey’s Justice and Development Party in slowly adapting its Islamist agenda over a longer period of time.

As for other parties, the more secular and liberal parties are poorly organized and have little name recognition. Surprisingly, the prospects of Mubarak-era politicians in the countryside are better than one would expect. The Wall Street Journal quotes a candidate from one of the provinces saying, “Tribe, family, and religion-this is how people vote here.” The people have been voting for the Mubarak-era politicians for decades and will vote for them again because, like feudal lords, they dispense patronage and favors over their districts.

Whatever promise the future held in those giddy days following the departure of Hosni Mubarak has been strangled by the harsh reality of military rule and the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood. Even if the country makes it through this torturous electoral process, the government that emerges from the confusion will be nothing like the activists and idealists who put their bodies on the line to oust a dictator imagined.

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  • PhillipGaley

    "Egyptians Go to the Polls"? Yeah, . . . so, what of it? As a nation, Egypt is corrupt or Moslem, . . . and "a broken reed, upon which, whoever leans shall be pierced through his hand."—and while it has been pointed out that, that saying by Rebshakah (?) was perhaps not by him, intended as prophecy, at the time it was common knowledge, and has since then prove to be prophetic. For example, at the commencement of hostilities in 1947, the Egyptians advised the Palestinian Arabs to abandon their homes in Gaza, being promised to have all returned plus all the boodle from the Jews when, in just a few days or not more than a few weeks, they should then have been crushed—driven into the sea, . . .
    From the administrative evil seeping into and overcoming Egyptian culture consistent with the massive bureaucratic public works projects which construction of the pyramids was, Egypt never recovered, . . . to be whole, healthy and productive—thus providing space and worth for elections, in general—Egyptian society has to be rearranged in a way which—until such occurrence—no mere election is able to effect, . . .
    The best thing which can be done is, to keep the Bible from the Egyptians—that way, though in continuance as irascible, they'll be more easily managed because, they'll never learn how to think in worthwhile and strong conceptions, . . .

  • StephenD

    We tipped our hand through Hillary saying last week how she looks forward to working with the M.B. To me all this means is we will open our tax dollars up to them to do their thing in hopes they'll eat us last. It grows weary knowing we have fools willing to give away the store for a kiss and a promise.

  • voted against carter

    ' TAQIYYA '
    Do your own research about it if you don't know what this means.

    i s l a m IS EVIL. PERIOD.

    i s l a m strives for world domination.

    The q u r a n commands m u s l i m s to exercise jihad.

    The q u e r n commands muslims to establish s h a r i a h law.

    The q u e r n commands m u s l i m s to impose i s l a m on the entire world.

    i s l a m is NOT a religion, it IS a totalitarian ideology.

    i s l a m IS and has remained a death cult from its beginnings.

    i s l a m wants to dominate all aspects of life, from the cradle to the grave.

    s h a r i a h law is a law that controls every detail of life in a i s l a m i c society.

    From civic- and family law to criminal law.

    It determines how one should eat, dress and even use the toilet.

    Oppression of women is good, drinking alcohol is bad.

    The core of the q u r a n is the call to j i h a d.

    J i h a d means a lot of things and is a r a b i c for battle.

    i s l a m means submission, there cannot be any mistake about its goal.

    i s l a m and freedom, i s l a m and democracy are not compatible.

    They are opposite values.

    m o h a m e d 's "wife" was six years old.

    That makes m o h a m e d a P E D O P H I L E!!!

    And you want to base a "R e l i g i o n" on this a z s -holes rantings?

    Are you INSANE?

    I STAND with Israel

  • jonmc

    "Indeed, after initially backing the protestors, the Brotherhood then pulled out of Tahrir Square and left it to the youthful demonstrators who organized the protests that overthrew Hosni Mubarak​ early this year."
    Yup. And you could see when it happened. Prior to the MB pulling out there were virtually no women shown on the TV (in UK) – I wonder why – then all of a sudden, lots of them appeared, some hejabed, some not.

  • tanstaafl

    Perhaps it is haram, but Islam is good at kabuki theater.

  • Stuart Parsons

    Why elections ? We hear much talk about democracy, but Islam is theocracy. It does not permit democracy. Democracy means freedom of speech and religious tolerance. the 57 OIC nations and the Cairo Declaration do not support freedom of speech and religious tolerance and neither does Muhammad's mythical Allah…… and as they say "Allah knows best." Oh what a ridiculous, perfidious cult Islam is.

  • Flowerknife_us

    If the Egyptian Army wants war with Israel- the Muslim Brotherhood will come to power rather quickly. If not, Egypt will boil in the vain effort to prevent it. The longer it drags on the better.

    The butter is melting all over the place.

  • WilliamJamesWard

    The pot is being stirred in the big Islamist hellhole for a grand election but I can
    only wonder how it is possible that there will only be losers, no not one winner.
    The man on the street will say after it is over "what fresh new hell is this" but
    do not fear, Hillary Clinton will have a positive spin for it all but not and Egyption
    woman, their opinions do not count…………………………………………William

  • robertgrandy
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