Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Egyptian Summer Tales : The Presidential Team and the race to 2018 elections

Yes , for the past couple of weeks without no introduction we found some people in Egypt and outside speaking about the upcoming presidential elections even among the strongest supporters of President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi.

Just as he was celebrating the verification of his first official twitter account, extreme Pro-Sisi and Pro-regime Sada El-Balad TV channel host Ahmed Moussa held a very interesting poll on twitter about whether people would elect President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi for a second term in 2018.

For about seven hours , the notorious TV host known for his extreme hate to the 25 January revolution held the poll and amazingly the results came unlike what he wished for.

At least 81% of the votes in the twitter poll said that they were against Sisi to run for another presidential term. Thousands of people participated in that poll that went viral for here.
Moussa and his social media team did not only delete the poll but they shut down the whole account in less than 24 hours.

Defiant as usual , Moussa claimed that hackers from Qatar and Turkey "the usual suspect" took control of his verified twitter account and manipulated in the results of the polls !!
Technically , this is untrue but this is what he had said.

He also said that he held a poll with the same question about Sisi's second term on his official Facebook page as well Sada El-Balad TV channel's official website and that the majority of people "over 90%" wanted President Sisi to run for another presidential term.

Here is a screenshot I took for the poll before he closed his account.
Up till now, people are asking why Ahmed Moussa would post such poll on twitter and ask that question in particular.
Ahmed Moussa Poll
The poll which El-Sisi lost thanks to Ahmed Moussa 

For me , it was kind of wired but I felt it was a pathetic attempt to show that El-Sisi still got popularity in Egypt despite the economic crisis and that talk lately about the Presidential elections in 2018 and Presidential team, yes Presidential team

The Unlikely spokesperson for the Presidential team .. from outer space.

The firs time we heard in Egypt the words "Presidential team" and "getting ready for presidential elections 2018" was in Al-Araby TV's interview with Space scientist and former Presidential aide for science Dr. Essam Heggy in late July.

In the second part of a lengthy interview , Heggy revealed suddenly that there was a group of January revolution powers and change movement in Egypt were working to prepare for a project to run as a Presidential team for 2018 Presidential elections in the country !!

The space scientist did not give any names or any specific details about who precisely stood behind that very ambitious project or when it did start.
Already as far as I know since Tiran and Sanafir protests' crackdown , Egyptian political activists had their hands full to get their friends out of trials and jail.

The scientist who is currently staying in the United States said that he was helping in the "scientific file" in the project without having any other role and that there were other "experts" helping the "youth" in that project to present "an alternative to the Egyptian people".

Essam Heggy
Essam Heggy when he was the President's adviser for sciences in 2014
He also revealed that the Presidential team project did not agree on specific "Presidential candidates" because the main focus of that project was to find ideas and solutions for five major problems in Egypt which are : Education, health,economy, equality and women's rights.

Despite he did not mention anything related directly to political reform in those five major problems, Heggy made it clear that 'anyone believed in education and in "national reconciliation" was welcomed in the project regardless of his or her political affiliation.

Hinting out that there is no use in protests now , he believes that Presidential team can be a true alternative to the curtain.

After speaking about his small project , the Space scientist called the Egyptian armed forces to give up some of its expenses for the sake of education.

Here is the interview

And let's just say that  Essam Heggy threw stepping stone that has not stopped yet.

Despite being the ex-scientific adviser of ex-interim president Adly Mansour, Essam Heggy began to turn into an opposition figure gradually starting from the Kofta Gate scandal when he attacked that crazy army project openly in 2014.

He was attacked madly by Pro-regime which ridiculed him. Then, he left Egypt. In 2015 , he became more vocal criticizing the political situation in Egypt indirectly and then directly in 2015 and openly in 2016.

Now , Heggy speaks about the Presidential elections in 2018 and a political alternative to Egypt's current regime.
As many questions were raised about what he said , he issued that short statement on his official Facebook account.

Again, he made it clear that that "Presidential team project" was not his idea but was the idea of "the best of 25 January youth" and that he was not leading or a member in it. He was rather giving them help in the education file.

Of course, judging from his posts and his interview in Al-Tahrir newspaper , I see he understood politics very well more than many decision makers in Cairo now.

Soon enough , we found an official Facebook page for the Presidential team 2018.
So far, the page is discussing and criticizing political, economic and social news of Egypt.
Sooner , we met the head of the Presidential team campaign and it turned out she was a familiar activist face who had an experience in  similar campaigns.

The Presidential team project is headed by Hala Al-Bannay.
Al-Bannay used to be a leading member of the National association for change in 2010. She also was a member in Mohamed ElBaradei presidential campaign and a founding member of Constitution Party as well Tamaroud Campaign against Morsi.
Hala Al-Banay and ElBaradei
Hala Al-Bannay and Mohamed ElBaradei in undated photo
Now , Al-Bannay is not hiding her opposition to El-Sisi.
She also revealed that she spoke with Heggy along a group of activists in December 2015 and that she began to hint about the project itself publicly on her Facebook account in April 2016.

Cairo , we got a problem

The Presidential Team has not reached yet to a candidate to support for the upcoming presidential elections and we still do not know the rest of the team members.
But again, it was like a stepping stone.
Suddenly , we got another Facebook campaign called "Choose your president 2018" which I do not know who stands behind it for real.

On the other hand, there are ongoing disgusting media attacks targeting Heggy "he was called a {rocks photographer in NASA} and {NASA recruits idiot according to radio host Ibrahim Al-Garhi} as well Al-Bannay in a sexist disgusting way.

We got a counter-campaign calling Egyptians to gather the  40 million signatures to have Abdel El-Fattah El-Sisi for another presidential term without elections in 2018 !!!!!
Its organizers claim that they gathered thousands of signatures , I do not know where or when.
The campaign was slammed because it is unconstitutional by all measures

Then El-Sisi spoke about the 2018 Presidential elections.
In a lengthy interview with the editors in chief of state-owned newspapers , Sisi said that he would run for re-elections if it was the will of the Egyptian people in 2018.

Yes, all this happened in the past four weeks in Egypt.
Personally , I think it is still early to speak about 2018 as many things can happen till.
On the other hand, I totally see all this and feel something is happening.
I do not know if there is an ongoing fight in mount Olympus thus we see those anti-Sisi campaigns or what.

This is a tale that started in summer 2016 and God only knows whether it will finish in summer 2018 or earlier ... or even after.

1 comment:

  1. Heggy is bluffing at best.. The regime and it's media is so vulnerable that they bought into it. An interesting tactic often used lately by antiregime activists to dictate the pro Sisi medias agenda and further exploit their lack of credibility.


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