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Parsing the Egyptian Presidential Election Results

Posted on the 29 May 2012 by Warigia @WarigiaBowman

Parsing the Egyptian Presidential Election Results

Women stand in line to cast their vote in Alexandria. Photo Credit Al Jazeera.

Parsing the Egyptian Presidential Election Results

An Egyptian woman looks at her ballot. Photo Credit, Al Jazeera.

Should Egyptians accept the election results?
This is a tough question. It is puzzling that Shafiq outpolled Morsy. There is no question that the Muslim Brotherhood has the best ground game in town. However, for Shafiq to have beaten the Brotherhood, that means that the entire NDP apparatus, i.e. Mubarak's old party, is alive and well. It makes one wonder if there were not behind the scenes election violations that could not be viewed by observers? Allegations of vote buying have been made.  Okay, shaking off my paranoia, here is an interesting analysis of why Shafiq did so well.
Apparently, the secularists and leftists and revolutionaries split their votes between Shabaahi and Fotouh. Of course, vote splitting was to be expected. That said, the top four candidates all polled close to 25%. Given how close the election was, it would have been reasonable to hold a four way runoff. The PEC is not winning any friends in this election. First, they allowed Shafiq to run, even though the parliament banned members of the Mubarak regime from running. There is no question that the PEC's main client was the SCAF.  Second, the decisions of the PEC cannot be appealed.
Many Egyptians are not happy about the outcome. Tahrir was packed today. Issandr El Imrani asks why Egyptians should accept these elections.  Former President Jimmy Carter says his monitors could not observe the whole election, because his mission only got access a week before the race. Overall, however, Carter stated that the results of the election were acceptable.
More worrying than who won, in my view, is the fact that no constitution is in place, and as former President Jimmy Carter pointed out, the Egyptians are electing a president whose powers have not yet been defined. Strange days indeed.
After major protests on Monday, Tahrir Square is calm again.
Runoffs for the presidential elections are slated for the 16th and 17th of June.

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