Egyptians celebrate the election of their new president in Tahrir Square.

On Sunday, Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsy was announced as the winner of Egypt’s first democratic presidential election. Daniel Berehulak captured the tension and euphoria surrounding the announcement in Cairo.

See more photos here.
Egypt extends presidential election voting 1 day

State TV says Egypt’s election commission has extended voting in the presidential election for a third day amid reported low turnout.

Government officials, media and the military harangued voters to go to the polls Tuesday in what was supposed to be the final day of the vote, worried that turnout was weaker than expected. The front-runner, former army chief Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, is trying to garner an overwhelming show of support.

Monitoring groups and el-Sissi’s rival candidate reported low turnout by early Tuesday. Closer to sunset, numbers increased.

The election commission extended the voting one more day, Wednesday, citing complaints that migrant workers have been unable to vote where they reside because of laws making doing so difficult.

البــــس يا شــــعـــب ;)

بعد كده لما اركب مواصلات والاقي ست كبيرة واقفة هقولها مش انتي انتخبتي شفيق ..خليه يقعدك بقي !
ولما الاقي راجل كبير واقف علي طابور العيش هقوله مش انت انتخبت شفيق ..خليه يجيبلك عيش !
ولما الاقي اسرة ابنهم الصغير مخطوف ..هقولهم مش انتوا انتخبتوا شفيق ..خليه يرجعهولكوا !
ولما الاقي الناس واقفة طوابير علي الانابيب ..هبصلهم بقرف واقولهم مش انتوا انتخبتوا شفيق خليه يجيبلكوا الانابيب !
ولما الاقي السواقين… واقفين طوابير ع البنزين ..هقولهم خليه يجبلكوا الغاز !
ولما الاقي ام بتعيط عشان ابنها متاخد في كمين ..هقولها كلمي شفيق !
ولما الاقي مسيحين بيلطموا عشان كنيسه ولعت ..هقولهم هاتوا شفيق يطفيها !
ولما الاقي شاب مش عارف يدخل الحربية او الشرطه عشان خدوا ابن الرتبه بداله ..هقوله البس !
ولما الاقي طالب مش عارف يبقي معيد عشان ابن الدكتور هيتعين هقوله اشرب !
ولما اقابل ناس مش عارفة تقضي اي مصلحه غير بالمحسوبية او الرشوة ..هقولهم ها ..شفيق نضيف مش كده ؟!!
ولما الاقي ناس بُتظلم وتُستعبد وتاخد علي قفاها ..هقولهم : ايه اخبار الحرية ؟!!
ولما البلطجيه ينتشروا في كل مكان زي زمان ويقطعوا الطرق ويخطفوا البنات ويسرقوا البيوت ..هقولهم ايه اخبار الامن دلوقتي ؟!
لما الاقي الناس مش لاقية تاكل وبتصوت من الغلاء ..هقولهم ايه اخبار عجلة الانتااج ؟!!
شفيق حلو مش كده ؟!! ..طب البس يا شعب ! كــُــل ده هعمله ع فكره مش مجرد كلام و بس :)

Islamists sweep early results in the first round of a 3-part Egyptian vote

Muslim Brotherhood and hardline Salafis appear to win more than half of seats in first round of parliamentary election.


Islamist parties have surged to an overwhelming victory in the opening round of Egypt’s first post-revolution election, trouncing secular parties throughout the country, according to official results and local media reports.

The Freedom and Justice Party, the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood, has won around 40 per cent of the vote, while the Nour Party, a fundamentalist Salafi organisation, has won around 25 per cent, according to unofficial results published in Egyptian newspapers.

The Egyptian Bloc, the country’s main liberal alliance, earned around 15 per cent of the vote, according to those reports.

Those unofficial results applied to districts where political parties ran lists of candidates, as opposed to districts where candidates ran as individuals. The former will account for two-thirds of the People’s Assembly, parliament’s lower house, while the latter will account for one-third.

The High Elections Commission has said it will only release results for party lists in January, after all three stages of the election for the People’s Assembly have finished. But the commission released official results for individual districts on Friday evening.


Activists and liberals have pushed for a new “national salvation” government that would have authority over the SCAF, but the military has made no indication it will support such a change.

Women shut out

Those figures also showed the Nour and Freedom and Justice parties dominating, though most races ended in run-offs, which are set to begin on Monday.

The Freedom and Justice Party won two individual districts outright and will field 43 candidates in runoffs, while the Nour Party, which won no districts outright, will field 22 run-off candidates.

The Egyptian Bloc has just seven candidates in the run-offs. It came in fourth behind candidates who identified themselves as independents.

No women were reported to have won seats in the first round.

Dim hopes for liberals and secularists

Few bright spots appeared for liberals and proponents of a strictly civil state, some of whom had considered boycotting the first election since 18 days of protest overthrew the 30-year rule of President Hosni Mubarak in February.

The Egyptian Bloc and less prominent Revolution Continues alliance appear to have been outmuscled by the more organised Brotherhood, which has built a presence in Egyptian life through more than 80 years of extensive charitable and social work and opposition to the regime.

Mohammed Abdel Ghani, a liberal candidate, told the independent Al-Shorouk newspaper that his movement needed to counter propaganda that “non-Islamist candidates were infidels”.

At least one prominent liberal, Amr Hamzawy, formerly a Middle East analyst with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, won a seat. Hamzawy, a member of the otherwise invisible Egypt Freedom Party, will represent the upper-class Heliopolis district of Cairo.

But elsewhere, leading figures of the uprising were either struggling or had been beaten.

In Tahrir Square on Saturday, demonstrators who had returned last week to protest against the post-Mubarak military leadership had dwindled to a few hundred.

“Everyone that we had faith in has betrayed us,” 25-year-old Mohammed el-Assas said

It was only the opening phase of a parliamentary election that is taking place in three stages, but the returns reveal the political trends that will shape the country’s transition to democracy.

For the lower house of parliament, the rest of the country will vote in a further two stages later this month and in January. An upper house will then be elected in another three stages.

Voters are required to make three votes: two for individual candidates and one for a party or coalition.

Israel concerned over Islamists’ rise

The prospect of an Islamist-dominated parliament raises fears among liberals about civil liberties and religious freedom in a country with the Middle East’s largest Christian minority.

The Brotherhood and other political parties are expected to face a fierce power struggle for control with the military, whose ruling generals have recently signaled that they do not see the new parliament having extensive powers - for instance, to unilaterally select the prime minister and cabinets.

The Islamists’ rise is also expected to raise fears in Israel, which shares a border with Egypt and a peace agreement signed in 1979. The Brotherhood has said it will maintain the agreement, though perhaps with slight changes, while Salafis have suggested putting it to a national referendum.

Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak on Saturday expressed deep concern over the trend from the first round of voting.

“The process of Islamisation in Arab countries is very worrying,” Barak said on Israeli television, adding however that it was “premature to say how these changes will affect the region”.

In contrast, the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, which enjoyed a landslide win in 2006 parliamentary elections, said the success of Islamist parties in Egypt was a “a very good result”.

"It will mean more and more support for Palestinian issues,” Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhum said.

Via Al Jazeera news
Clampdown and Blowback: How State Repression Has Radicalized Islamist Groups in Egypt

With the landslide election of Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to the presidency, the pendulum of Egyptian politics has once again taken a dramatic swing. A former military man and Defense Minister, al-Sisi helped orchestrate the coup against his predecessor—President Mohammed Morsi, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. Almost immediately, al-Sisi began a severe crackdown on the Brotherhood and other Islamic organizations. As historian Elizabeth Perego details, however, this is not the first time that the Egyptian state has launched a campaign to suppress the Brotherhood. And, as she reminds us, the result of these campaigns has usually been further to radicalize the Islamists.

Sisi Wins Presidency in Landslide

As expected, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has been elected president of Egypt. Elections officials reported that Sisi was named as the preferred presidential candidate on 92 percent of the ballots cast. Sisi’s only named opponent on the ballot, Hamdeen Sabahi, received just 3 percent of the ballots. The rest of the ballots were declared invalid. Sabahi’s campaign officials reported irregularities at polling places, but the wide margin of victory was telling in who those who voted wanted to lead their country.

Bag’s Take-Away:

The concept of such military machismo on public display is somewhat alien to U.S. viewers. There’s an anime/cartoon quality to it – the musclemen, the weapons banners, the odd, only one-off symmetry. We should do this!

via Reuters Editor’s Choice

(credit: Sherif Abd Monam/Egyptian Presidency/Handout/Reuterscaption: Soldiers perform during a ceremony, attended by Egypt’s new Islamist President Mohamed Mursi at the Egyptian military academy in Cairo July 17, 2012.)

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Egyptian Women Have Choice of Rock or Hard Place

By Jessica Gray

External image

CAIRO, Egypt (WOMENSENEWS) –If new elections are held, Fatema Khafagy will not be sorry to see the months-old Islamist parliament go.

“Frankly speaking, we were not happy with parliament or the women there,” says Khafagy, a board member of the Arab Alliance for Women, which educates women about family planning and promotes legal protection for victims of domestic violence. “We hope that we’ll have better elections after the constitution is written.”

Many liberals and women’s group were angry when Islamist parties won a majority of the seats in Egypt’s first parliamentary polls after the fall of deposed president Hosni Mubarak, now in failing health. They were also upset that these groups would play a large role in the creation of the nation’s new constitution.

Khafagy says the Muslim Brotherhood, a conservative political force with a far reach, and other Islamist members of parliament had numerous draft laws in the works that targeted women, including lowering the marriage age to 16 from 18, abolishing no-fault divorce and favoring fathers in custody cases. If passed, the laws would have erased decades of work by Egyptian rights activists…Read more

Blow to Transition as Court Dissolves Egypt's Parliament

By David D. Kirkpatrick, NY Times, June 14, 2012
CAIRO–A panel of judges appointed by Egypt’s ousted president, Hosni Mubarak, threw the nation’s troubled transition to democracy into grave doubt Thursday with rulings that dissolved the popularly elected Parliament and allowed the toppled government’s last prime minister to run for president, escalating a struggle by remnants of the old elite to block Islamists from coming to power.

The rulings by Egypt’s Supreme Constitutional Court were quickly condemned as a “coup” by Islamists, liberals and scholars. The court’s action, coming two days before a presidential runoff, set up a showdown with the Islamists who controlled Parliament. They said Thursday night that they refused to dissolve the legislature and vowed to win the presidency despite the signs of opposition within the government overseeing the vote.

The rulings recalled events that have played out across the region for decades, when secular elites have cracked down on Islamists poised for electoral gains, most famously when the dissolution of Algeria’s Islamist-led Parliament started a civil war 20 years ago.

Citing a misapplication of rules for independent candidates, the court sought to overturn the first democratically elected Parliament in more than six decades and the most significant accomplishment of the Egyptian revolt. Many analysts and activists said Thursday that they feared the decision was a step toward re-establishing a military-backed autocracy, though it was not yet clear whether the military leadership was willing to risk a new outbreak of unrest by suppressing the country’s most powerful political forces.

“From a democratic perspective, this is the worst possible outcome imaginable,” said Shadi Hamid, research director of the Brookings Doha Center in Qatar. “This is an all-out power grab by the military.”

The timing of the ruling seems like a transparent attempt to undermine the Islamists just two days before Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood is set to compete in the runoff against Ahmed Shafik, a former air force general and Mr. Mubarak’s last prime minister.

If the ruling is carried out, whoever wins the presidential race would take power without the check of a sitting Parliament and could exercise significant influence over the elections to form a new one. The new president will also take office without a permanent constitution to define his powers or duties. A 100-member constitutional assembly appointed by Parliament and including dozens of lawmakers may also be dissolved. And in any event, the ruling generals are expected to issue their own interim charter during the drafting.

Electing a president without either a constitution or a parliament is like “electing an ‘emperor’ with more power than the deposed dictator. A travesty,” Mohamed ElBaradei, the Nobel Prize-winning diplomat and former presidential candidate, said in a comment online.

In a statement, the Brotherhood’s political arm said the court’s decisions “confirms that the former regime hasn’t surrendered yet and won’t give up easily.”

Some supporters of the revolution said they worried that the public was almost too fatigued to respond. “Egypt just witnessed the smoothest military coup,” Hossam Bahgat, director of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, wrote in an online commentary. “We’d be outraged if we weren’t so exhausted.”


Inside Story -Egyptian Election