Quotes: MENA   Enter Symbol: NewsLetter: Search: advanced

Low turnout in Egypt election  Join our daily free Newsletter

MENAFN - The Peninsula - 29/05/2014
No. of Ratings : 0
Add to Mixx!



(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Egyptian authorities scrambled to rescue the country's presidential election from the embarrassment of low voter turnout that has dented former army chief Abdel-Fattah Al Sisi's hopes for an enthusiastic show of public support. Few people trickled to the polls yesterday even after the balloting was extended for a third day.

Estimates reported by pro-Sisi media put turnout so far since Monday at 38 to 44 percent, well below the nearly 52 percent turnout in the 2012 election won by the Islamist Mohamed Mursi, the president whom Sisi ousted last summer. In his last campaign TV interview last week, Sisi set the bar even higher, saying he wanted more than 45 million voters to cast ballots, a turnout of more than 80 percent - to "show the world."

Tarek Shebli, a judge on the election commission, told the state-run Al Ahram newspaper yesterday that 21 million of the 54 million registered voters had cast ballots - a 38 percent turnout. Two pro-military private TV stations, CBC and Al Hayat, and Sisi's campaign put out figures they said they obtained from commission officials, showing 24 million voted, or 44 percent.

Sisi, who enjoyed adulation from the media and support from the military, security services and businessmen, is expected to win the election.

But a low turnout has called into question the level of support for the man who gained hero status after toppling Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood last year. His only opponent is leftist politician Hamdeen Sabahi.

The nearly empty polling stations could be an early sign of trouble as the career military man prepares to take the helm of a nation where street protests have helped remove two presidents in three years.

Apathy is not the only reason for the low participation. In addition to Islamists who reject Mursi's ouster as a coup and have called for a boycott, some liberal youth activists are also staying away. Under Sisi's watch a crackdown against the Brotherhood was extended to secular-minded Egyptians.

Sisi seems to have alienated some Egyptians during television interviews in which he said it was up to ordinary citizens to step up to the plate and work hard.

But trying to impose military discipline on a nation exhausted by three years of political upheaval may have backfired.

Though many Egyptians interviewed by Reuters in working class districts during election said they wanted a strong president, others quietly explained how Sisi had lost their vote with his "tough love" message.

Billboards in rundown neighbourhoods call for austerity: "With work," read the signs, next to Sisi's smiling face. Another sign shows Sisi and the words "hard work is all I have, and all I will ask from you."

Millions of poor Egyptians already juggle several jobs, or can't follow Sisi's message because they are unemployed.

Sisi's proposals for tackling some of the most pressing challenges ring harsh, critics say, mainly because they seem to place the burden unduly on the poor.

In order to deal with a crippling energy crisis, young people can walk to work or school instead of driving or taking public transport, Sisi suggested in a meeting during his campaign with young Egyptians.

Instead of a person eating one loaf of bread, he can cut it in four so there is more to go around, he said during a television interview where he urged Egyptians to understand the "true reality".

"If money appears in my pocket to pay my bills from working more, okay. But how can I cut a loaf of bread into four? That's not a solution," complained Emad Abdelaela.

It's not just the poor who seem irritated by Sisi's prescriptions for Egypt's social and economic ills.

In the upper middle class district of Sheikh Zayed, in the Cairo desert suburbs, a Mursi supporter said Sisi would find little help from Egyptians like him. "We have an electricity crisis, and now he's telling us to conserve," said Mamdouh Ali, 30, an architect.

Sisi's ideas have become the butt of jokes, with satirical videos on YouTube poking fun at him.

The well-known Egyptian blogger known by his social media handle Big Pharaoh described Sisi's approach as "completely absurd". He said the man who commanded widespread respect in his military uniform and was hailed as a superhero is now being "scolded" by Egyptians boycotting the vote.

"The political apathy is extremely dangerous now," said Big Pharaoh. "What we are seeing now with the youth losing trust and losing faith in the political process. This is not a good thing."

 


The Peninsula




  MENA News Headlines
 Dec 19 2014 - Int'l community responsible for protecting Palestinians: KuwaitArab Times
(MENAFN - Arab Times) GENEVA Dec 18 (KUNA): Kuwait's permanent delegate to the UN agencies in Geneva Ambassador Jamal Al-Ghunaim said Wednesday the international community needs to shoulder its legal ...

 Dec 19 2014 - Kuwait- Early diagnosis key to defeat breast cancerArab Times
(MENAFN - Arab Times) KUWAIT CITY Dec 18 (KUNA): Sheikha Hessa Saad Al- Abdullah Al-Sabah on Wednesday highlighted the importance of early detection in curbing the growth of various forms of cancer. ...

 Dec 19 2014 - Saudi- Host Maskan beats Nesma Inaya edges out Gilas 90-88Arab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) Host team Maskan Arabia Co. brought down Nesma 105-92 while Inaya Medical College edged out S. Gilas 90-88 in the seventh week action in the 2nd Maskan Arabia Invitational ...

 Dec 19 2014 - Saudi- Faisaliah Team A and Courtyard Marriott triumph in Inter-Hotels Cricket eventArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) Al Faisaliah Team A won its match against Riyadh Marriott while Al Faisaliah-Al Khozama combined Team B went down in defeat to Courtyard Marriott during Friday's matches in the ...

 Dec 19 2014 - Mathy powers to victory in Riyadh Wheelers 60km road raceArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) A new course used for the first time brought general approval from the 60 riders who signed on for the Riyadh Wheelers 60km road race and with no wind to bother the competitors ...

 Dec 19 2014 - SCTC ABTC-Taif ladies clash in finals Saudia Catering JRTC in ALBAIK Tennis semifinalsArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) SCTC and ABTC-Taif will dispute the Ladies Division HMX category finals after a grueling double round-robin while in the Men's Division LMX category four teams advanced to the ...

 Dec 19 2014 - Saudi- Hyundai Castrol takes third in 4th MYN 2014 JBL-Lifestylez tourneyArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) Hyundai Castrol of Dennis Elmenzo beat Fuddruckers 72-53 to claim the third place in the 4th MYN Division at the Ahmed Mohammed Abdul Wahab Naghi Sports Complex in Ash Shati ...

 Dec 19 2014 - Saudi- Natco Desert Warriors win in JCA Money Gram CKB-T20Arab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) The Money Gram-sponsored Cricket Ke Badshah T20 Tournament for the year 2015 under the auspices of Saudi Cricket Center (SCC) took off to a rousing start with 28 teams entered in ...

 Dec 19 2014 - UN seeks 8.4bn to help Syrian victimsArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) BERLIN: The UN appealed Thursday for $8.4 billion to provide emergency aid and longer-term help to nearly 18 million people in Syria and across the region hit by the drawn-out ...

 Dec 19 2014 - Saudi- Nigeria sentences 54 soldiers to deathArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) ABUJA Nigeria: Nigeria has sentenced 54 soldiers to death for mutiny assault cowardice and refusing to fight extremists.The court-martial charges all were connected to the ...

more...


 






Google

 
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network

MENAFN News Market Data Countries Tools Section  
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network
Arabic MENAFN

Main News
News By Industry
News By Country

Islamic Finance News
Private Equity News

How-To Guides
Technology Section

Travel Section

Search News

Market Indices
Quotes & Charts

Global Indices
Arab Indices

Commodoties

Oil & Energy

Currencies Cross Rates
Currencies Updates
Currency Converter

USA Stocks
Arab Stocks
 

Algeria 
Bahrain 
Egypt 
Iraq
Jordan 
Kuwait 
Lebanon
Morocco 
Oman 
Palestine
Qatar 
Saudi Arabia 
Syria
Tunisia 
UAE 
Yemen

Weather
Economic Calendar
Financial Glossary


Financial Calculators

RSS Feeds [XML]

Corporate Monitor

Events

Real Estate
Submit Your Property

Arab Research
Buy a Research

Press Releases
Submit your PR

Join Newsletters


 
© 2014 menafn.com All Rights Reserved.  Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Advertise | About MENAFN | Career Opportunities | Feedback | Help