Saturday, March 31, 2018

Voting girl 2018 : Notes about Egypt's Presidential Elections 2018

Another dispatch from Cairo, the land of pharaohs and elections.
Earlier Friday, Egypt’s National Elections Authority “NEA” announced that no one has presented any appeal or objection against the elections.
Thus on 2 April, the NEA will announce Current president Abdel Fattah El-Sisi as the winner of the 2018 presidential race in the non-surprising news.
According to the unofficial preliminary results leaked from the NEA and Abdel Fattah El-Sisi’s official campaign, the current president comes in the first place by 92% of the votes, the spoilt votes in the second place by 5% and Moussa Moussa in the third place by 3%.
Estimations of the turn out speak about over 40% of eligible votes “59 million votes”
This is the second consecutive presidential elections in a row to have the spoilt vote in the second place.
In the 2014 Presidential elections between Sisi and Hamdeen Sabhi, also the spoiled votes came in the second place by 4.07%
Needless to say, the fact that we have spoiled votes more than El-Sisi’s opponent in the Presidential elections say a lot especially  with all the attempt to mobilize people to head to the polling stations
At 9 PM Wednesday, Egyptian Presidential elections 2018 concluded in a dramatic way as the NEA extended it for another hour whereas a huge sandstorm was hitting the country.
Snapping a photo for mom in Egypt's Presidential elections 2018
A lady snapping a photo of her old mother casting her vote in the presidential elections 2018
This post includes my testimony on the second day and third day as well a more detailed day one of the Egyptian presidential elections 2018.
The first post about the Egyptian presidential elections is brief as I was tired and God knows that I am still tired thanks to our dusty Egyptian spring and sinusitis.
You can see a very short summary of that election in the video here. It is too short and I mock how the mainstream media covered the elections. It is different as you can than previous reports about elections since 2011.

First of all, I did not vote in the Egyptian presidential elections 2018 because it is actually a referendum.
It is a setback to the old days and continuing old tradition of the 99.999% yes to the leader referendums that started in the days of Nasser.

Ironically I would have voted if the regime let other candidates like Ahmed Shafik or Sami Anan or Khaled Ali run without dirty games.

I did not vote and I am ready to pay that LE 500 fine now the“NEA” has just announced earlier Wednesday as a fine in order to force the eligible voters to show up at the polling stations.
The fine for not showing up to vote does exist in the 2014-Presidential elections law yet that article no.43 does not speak about the mechanism on how to apply that fine in the first place.
The NEA’s threat comes as an indirect official announcement that the turnout in Presidential elections 2018 is low as expected.
Presidential Candidate Moussa Moussa at a Polling Station in Egypt's presidential elections
Moussa Moussa speaking to AFP reporter in French after casting his vote in a Downtown Cairo polling
While covering the Presidential elections, I saw presidential candidate Moussa Moussa who is currently speaking of becoming the leader of opposition in Egypt.
The thing is that he had never opposed El-Sisi let alone is popular enough among any group to become the leader of opposition in the country.
It is another sad affair when you think about it.

The first two days already witnessed a noticeable turn out of elderly people in the poll station. It also witnessed that unneeded atmosphere of festivities
In the first day of the elections, I only saw young people that I can count on my hand.

Egyptian voters at a polling station in Egypt's Presidential elections 2018
Those three young ladies were the first young people I had seen in the first days of the elections

From what I read the third and last day witnessed a moderate turnout from all ages and not from the elderly only.
The declining turnout is not a surprise to me or others but what was astonishing is how the Egyptian officials went too far to encourage high turnout in what can be considered as electoral violations.
The governor of Qalyubia announced on Tuesday a-LE 100,000 to the church or eparchy with the highest turnout “more than 40%” in the Presidential elections.
In other words, he wants the Egyptian Orthodox Church and other Churches in his governorate to mobilize their members to vote !!
State resorts to religion for a high turn out !!

Choosing her president at a polling station in Egypt's Presidential elections 2018
A nice old Christian Egyptian lady voting in the presidential elections. She came alone 
 I think this shows the Christian Egyptians were not so encouraged to vote for Abdel Fattah El-Sisi like what Robert Fisk claimed in his column in the Independent last week !!

Governor Mahmoud El-Ashamawy did not forget Muslim voters in his governorate as he declared also that he would award the counties and villages with the highest turnout with Umrah trips !!!
The former army general was met with his huge criticism as well rejection from the Orthodox Church itself. The Diocese of Shobra El-Khaima slammed the governor indirectly in a statement issued on its official Facebook page on Wednesday.
“The Church has never accepted rewards for its service,” said the statement adding that the Church was doing its religious, educational and patriotic role from “its heart”
Christian Egyptian activists and politicians also slammed him.
On Thursday he backtracked what he said about the reward to churches and eparchies.
Back on Tuesday, many governors followed the governor of Qalyubia but without a reward to Churches like for instance.

Mounfia governorate announced on Wednesday a-LE 350,000-reward for counties and cities as well a-LE 150,000-reward for the village with the highest turnout in the Presidential elections on condition that their turnout would not be less than 40%. Those rewards will be allocated to raise the standards of infrastructure services in those towns, counties and villages !!
As you can see this is not an individual act from one governor but several governors.
I did not include here the rest of the links that speak about the rest of the governorates.
Unofficially, there had been several initiatives by Pro-regime businessmen that cannot be ignored. Like the LE 4 million reward allocated by pro-regime businessman Hassan Ratab and a group of businessmen to the village with the highest turnout in the Presidential elections !!

Those LE 4 million are to be allocated to the infrastructure projects in that lucky village !!
I think it is the role of the Egyptian government and Egyptian president to provide the citizens with those services without any return.
Needless to say, some people especially Pro-regime MPs resorted to old techniques.
A local DJ outside a polling station in Egypt's Presidential elections
Very young men seen dancing on DJ music seen too often in those elections
A little birdy told me who is better kept anonymous that MP Abdel Rahim Ali promised on Saturday to give old ladies especially in the poor class areas in Agouza and Dokki bags of food supplies if they had gone and voted in the Presidential elections. The inked finger was the proof that they went to vote.
This is not encouragement to vote, this is an electoral bribe and taking advantage of people’s poverty.
Similar testimonies are showering the internet for real and yet the government and NEA kept a blind eye on what happened.

In fact, I am reading now about a young man filmed electoral bribes who was arrested after he was attacked by infamous TV host Ahmed Moussa. I am trying to find the video.
My little birdy also told me that the MP also hired unemployed young men and ladies for LE 500 to work as cheerleaders outside the polling stations in the area.

That explained why I and others saw on the first-day of the elections young ladies and men wearing “Long Live Egypt” dancing and cheering with noisy DJs for no reason for real right beside the polling stations.
What shocked me was those of young ladies were actually underage girls dancing in the middle of the street.
I saw that in Agouza, Dokki, Downtown Cairo.
Other saw it and filmed in El-Rehab in New Cairo as well in other governorates including Port Said !!
Again the fact that that was seen in several areas in Egypt confirms that there was some kind orchestration.
I do not know how young girls dancing in the streets while carrying flags of Egypt can attract voters !!
Anyhow this what I have seen, read and heard in Egypt’s Presidential elections 2018.
FYI on Thursday, calls have started to amend the Egyptian constitution to allow El-Sisi to run for eternity and beyond.
Egyptian women voters in Egypt's Presidential elections 2018
That lady in the Middle asked me to photograph her and those nice old ladies whom she did not know
at the polling station

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