Egypt’s Pre-Election Chaos

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There are now multiple struggles underway as the first round of elections on November 28 draw near. The secularists and the Islamists both oppose the military council. The secularists and the Islamists oppose each other and within the Islamist camp, the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafists have locked horns.

The Islamists are building support by selling essential goods to the poor at a steep discount. This includes food, clothing and medicine. The Muslim Brotherhood even sponsored a game of soccer. The organizational advantages of the Islamists over the secularists are plain for all to see. It is not just the Muslim Brotherhood that has a well-oiled operation and campaign infrastructure. The Salafist Al-Nour party says it has 100,000 members and 150 offices around the country.

The Salafists were originally part of the Brotherhood-lead Democratic Alliance bloc. The Al-Nour, Al-Asalah, Al-Fadilah and Al-Islah Salafist parties decided to leave and form their own coalition. The two have since clashed, with the Brotherhood saying that the Salafists’ volcanic rhetoric is hurting the Islamist movement as a whole. It is unclear at this point if the Salafists and the Brotherhood will coordinate their campaigns so that they don’t split the Islamist vote in individual districts.

There is not much time left before the voting begins and the Islamists’ hopes are high. The Al-Nour party predicts that the Islamists will control over one-third of parliament. Middle East expert Dr. Barry Rubin revised his projection in the wake of the Islamist Ennahda Party’s success in the Tunisian elections (winning 41% of the vote). He now believes the Islamists will get nearly half of the seats in parliament, partly because of non-Islamists dividing the vote.

The first round of elections for the lower house of parliament will take place on November 28. Nine provinces will vote in each round and there will be a run-off election in districts where the victor does not win a majority of the vote. The second and third rounds for the lower house will take place on December 14 and January 3, respectively. The three rounds for the upper house will take place on January 29, February 14 and March 4.

The elected interim government will draft the next constitution and decide the role of Sharia. The stakes for Egypt and the region could not be much higher.

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  • Brian Donegal

    The Egyptian military is the lesser evil when compared to the Muslim Brotherhood. Both parties oppress the Copts but the military is less likely to export violence overeas.

  • Yeshayahu Goldfeld

    The Egyptian people are out again in their hundreds of thousands to violently protest against the regime.At the beginning of the year the benign dictatorship of president Mubarak was toppled and till now the former politicians are persecuted for enriching themselves .Abject poverty ,complete lawlessness and religious slogans threaten
    now the poor downtrodden masses.What outcome can we expect from elections
    durating three months?There does not seem to be any feasible solution one could
    propose .

    • StephenD

      I LOVE that no one is responding to Herman "killing Jewish kids is morally legitimate" Caintonette.
      Invalidation is what he deserves here on FPM.

  • StephenD

    In a few months when they are scrambling to feed themselves is when someone with a little foresight will make their move. Whoever is able to get food to the folks will get their support. Even if the food is from us down the line, the ones that hand it out will be the heroes locally. Now you see how important a blunder it was for Hillary to suggest last week that she looks forward to working with the Muslim Brotherhood. We may as well have handed them the keys.

  • myohmy

    How's that great Arab Spring working out for you Egyptians???? Are you still loving it? Are you missing Mubarak yet? Don't worry guys you'rfe gonna love Sharia law… you dumb bastards… You wanted it, now you got it… Be careful what you wish for…

  • Fred Dawes

    Just keep watching it is after-all isalm and it will become EVIL As hell. By the way is it a joke The ARAB SPRING?

  • Stan Lee

    Mubarak may have been detested by a few Egyptians, but he did keep the lid on Egypt.
    There weren't chuches and Christians being set upon by Muslim mobs and Egyptian military. The Muslim Brotherhood was held in check by Mubarak.
    While many of us view Obama as a directionless clown, still the words of the "American President" have impact in 2d and 3d world countries. Obama is more responsible for Egypt's internal problems than any other non-Egyptian "leader" in this world today. He put the American presidential stamp on Mubarak's ouster.