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A Worrying Weekend as the Egyptian Presidential Election Approaches

Posted on the 12 June 2012 by Warigia @WarigiaBowman
I am here in Cairo for June. Here in Cairo, things are a bit tense. My students are concerned about me. They worry that I do not have enough family to make staying in Cairo during the upcoming election safe. No matter, I have various colleagues, and we live in Rehab, which is likely the safest place in the greater metropolitan area.
Multiple political matters remain up in the air. First, who will participate in the Constituent Assembly, which is supposed to write Egypt's new constitution, is a matter of great contention. The constituent assembly is supposed to be formed of 100 people representing various components of Egyptian society. Yet, its composition has drawn enormous criticism from secular and liberal forces, including ElBaradei. Second, the Supreme Constitutional Court could disband parliament over the legality of the voting in the recent parliamentary elections. Third, this Saturday and Sunday a presidential runoff is scheduled between Ahmed Shafiq, Mubarak's last prime minister, and the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohammed Morsy. Shafiq may yet be disqualified under the Political Isolation Law. The Supreme Constitutional Court may declare the law illegal. Or, the court may choose not to hear the case.  However, the Court is scheduled to hear the case on June 14, 2012, only two days before the scheduled runoff.
If Shafiq is elected, and then disqualified, it could throw political matters--and the country-- into turmoil.
Shafiq is clearly the SCAF's preferred candidate, and his disqualification would loosen their grip on power. Also, the proximity of a potential court decision to the runoff is nerve-wracking. On the way home on the bus, everyone was making nervous jokes about our safety. One of my students says he is going to Ain Sokhna for the election. We asked him why he thinks Ain Sokhna is safer? He said, it is not safer, but at least it will be relaxing and fun. Good point.

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