Pessimism and Concern Surround Potential Egypt Election Outcome
Reuters reported that voters were “dismayed at what many see as a painful second-round choice between an Islamist apparatchik and a throwback to Hosni Mubarak’s era.” The two remaining candidates are Brotherhood candidate Mohammed Mursi and former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq. Hamdin Sabbahi, the third place candidate, has called for a recount as his spokesman announced, “The evidence we have, and that we are still accumulating, shows a big number of violations in many polling centres that would affect the final results.” Activist Aiman Nour said, “One person cannot bring down the system, so electing a new president will not bring down the system,” referring to his frustration with the ruling military government, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF). Ruth Pollard argues that Egypt’s economy is “the loser” as voters’ minds are focused on choosing between Mursi, “and a man seen as one of the fuloul, or remnants of the old regime,” Shafiq. However, there was still some optimism from others. Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter said he was “encouraged” despite having unprecedented constraints placed on him and the other witnesses. Omnia Hussien also had a more optimistic tone, and acknowledged the potential pitfalls of an unprecedented election, but said “the vibe in Egypt — at least this week — is great.”
Meanwhile, Julian Pecquet writes that “U.S. leaders are deeply troubled by the possibility that the Islamist party could roll back religious and women’s rights and break ties with Israel if it takes the presidency,” though policymakers have spoken out about showing full support for Egypt’s elections. David Dreier (R-CA) said, “We may have a preference, but how can we encourage the development of pluralism and self-determination and then reject the outcome of that?” In discussing recent Pew poll findings, Scott Clement asks: Will the U.S. lose? Polls show a dip in Egyptian support for President Barack Obama, widespread dissatisfaction with U.S. aid, and a decline in support to maintain the peace treaty with Israel.