Posts Tagged ‘Egyptian Elections’

Egypt Supreme Court Cancels Parliament, Military Takes Sweeping Power, Greek Election Results

Sunday, June 17th, 2012

Things don’t look so hot in Egypt. The Supreme Court, a holdover of Mubarak appointees has declared the national assembly to be unconstitutional. They did the same for a law that would make it illegal for former members of the old regime to run for office. This throws the Muslim brotherhood out the window of legitimate government unless they are able to win the presidential run off election. Chances are, this will lead to more unrest and a revolutionary situation. Question is what is the position of the US in all this?

The voting in Egypt has just ended in what has been called a lackluster turnout. Are the Egyptians disappointed with the choice? Or does it seem that the Military Council and their cronies control the results behind the scenes? It certainly looks that way. As my anarchist friends say, “if voting mattered, it would be illegal.”

As of 9 PM Pacific Time CNN is reporting that the Muslim Brotherhood is claiming that their candidate is the winner.

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From CNN

The Muslim Brotherhood claims its candidate, Mohamed Morsi, has defeated Ahmed Shafik to become Egypt’s president.

The Islamist group said that 97% of all votes had been cast, though a count on the state-run Al-Ahram news website — while showing Morsi ahead in the race — suggested that millions more votes still needed to be counted.

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From BBC

Egypt’s military ‘grants itself sweeping powers’

Turnout in the second round was reported to be low

Egypt’s ruling military has issued a declaration apparently granting itself sweeping powers, as the country awaits results of presidential elections.

The document by the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (Scaf) reportedly says new general elections can not be held until a permanent constitution is drawn up.

It also allegedly gives the Scaf legislative control.

Meanwhile, the Muslim Brotherhood says its candidate, Mohammed Mursi, has won Sunday’s presidential election.

Mr Mursi, an Islamist, is competing against Ahmed Shafiq, who served as prime minister under former President Hosni Mubarak.

Mr Mursi’s Muslim Brotherhood said he was holding a 52%-48% lead over Mr Shafiq with almost all the vote counted after Sunday’s second-round run-off election.

“Mohammed Mursi is the first Egyptian president of the republic elected by the people,” said a tweet from the Freedom and Justice Party, the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood.

But an official at Mr Shafiq’s campaign headquarters told Reuters news agency: “I do not accept this, I will not file wrong numbers.”

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In other news, the Center-Right New Democracy won the election in Greece with 30% of the vote. They will have to form a minority government but they are keeping Greece in the EU and the euro.

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From the BBC

Egypt voters’ ‘loss of faith’

By Lyse Doucet
BBC News, Cairo

Turnout has been lower in this election that in Egypt’s other post-revolution polls

Polls have closed across Egypt, ticking another box in a troubled transition to civilian rule in a nation exhausted by the process.

For large parts of the second day of voting in the presidential run-off, polling stations were largely quiet.

Was it the soaring heat, rising disaffection or mounting anger among Egyptians who felt robbed of a real choice in having to opt for an Islamist, Mohammad Mursi, or Ahmed Shafiq, a member of the old regime?

Last week’s dissolution of the first freely elected parliament by the Supreme Constitutional Court added weight to that growing sense of “does my vote matter?”

The turnout in the constitutional referendum of March 2011, soon after the heady days of the revolution, seemed to have happened in a different country.

Maybe it did.

In less than two years, Egypt has moved from dictatorship to revolution and now a transition to an uncertain state. Many have called recent events, including the decisions of the Supreme Constitutional Court, “a soft coup”.

There’s a growing sense that Egypt’s Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (Scaf) is reluctant to hand over its powers and privileges - although the military repeatedly denies that.

“In this runoff, some Egyptians seemed more excited by not voting, than voting ”

A polarised country awaits news of its first freely elected president. This moment was meant to be one of the achievements of the extraordinary protests that toppled Hosni Mubarak on 11 February 2011.

“This should be a happy moment,” said the veteran journalist and publisher Hisham Qassem, “but we’ve realised there’s a hard road ahead. There isn’t a fairytale ending.”

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-18479882

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BBC article on the consequences of the recent events in Egypt.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-18454005

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This from Foreign Policy

Top news: On Thursday, just days before a runoff presidential election, Egypt’s Supreme Constitutional Court ruled that Ahmed Shafik, a former prime minister under ousted President Hosni Mubarak, could compete in this weekend’s contest. The judges also dissolved the country’s first democratically elected parliament because of problems with the law governing the race.

The BBC notes that the decision “effectively puts legislative power into the hands of the ruling Supreme Council of Armed Forces,” and that activists are condemning Thursday’s rulings as a “‘coup’ designed to undermine the revolution, carried out by judges appointed under former President Mubarak.”

After the court’s decisions, the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi, who will square off against Shafik in the presidential runoff, warned that Egypt was headed for “very difficult days that might be more dangerous than the last days of Mubarak’s rule.” The Brotherhood won nearly half of the seats in parliament.

Some news about the US organizations in Egypt that were banned from the country.

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From IRI

AP: FAYZA ABOULNAGA LED THE CHARGE TO SHUT DOWN U.S. FUNDING OF DEMOCRACY GROUPS IN EGYPT
June 3, 2012
US democracy aid went to favored groups in Egypt
Associated Press
Brett J. Blackledge and Desmond Butler

WASHINGTON – Two months before Egyptian police stormed the offices of U.S.-backed democracy organizations last year, seven Egyptian employees resigned from one of the American groups to protest what they called undemocratic practices.

They complained that the U.S. group, described as nonpartisan, had excluded the country’s most popular Islamist political organization from its programs, collected sensitive religious information about Egyptians when conducting polls to send to Washington, and ordered employees to erase all computer files and turn over all records for shipment abroad months before the raids.

“Our resignation is a result of many different practices we have been witnessing that seem suspicious and unprofessional,” the Egyptian employees wrote in their Oct. 17 resignation letter.

This wasn’t the democracy that Dawlat Soulam, one of those who quit, said she had hoped to deliver to Egypt when she went to work for the International Republican Institute.

http://www.iri.org/news-events-press-center/news/ap-fayza-aboulnaga-led-charge-shut-down-us-funding-democracy-groups-eg

Egypt Elections, Austerity Protests - Chicago, Montreal, Spain, Greece

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

Egypt is in the second day of historic ‘free’ elections. What they are is contested elections with several vetted candidates approved of by the military rulers. Vote counting is being done at the polling stations themselves. Regional centers will then collate those results and then the supreme commission will give the final results on the 29th of May according to the report on Al Jazeera. Two days of elections and then government workers get to vote on Thursday. This may give the government a chance to tip the election to whomever they wish, assuming they are able to determine how the vote has been going and if they are able to influence the votes of their employees. So far the turn-out has been lower than in the parliamentary elections approximately 40% vs. 76% then. But those are guesses and the actual numbers are yet to come in.

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/36/122/42756/Presidential-elections-/Presidential-elections-news/Egyptian-presidential-elections,-Day–Turnout-and-.aspx

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Saturday I went to a conference to create a state wide student union here in California. It was supposed to coordinate the opposition to fee hikes and cutbacks in funding for the state schools. I spent an hour or so there but left when procedural debates threatened to disrupt the proceedings and result in little progress. I might go to the next meeting, hopefully by then they will be over structural debates and ready to tackle issues of substance. I am not interested in reinventing the wheel which is what most of the early debates consist of, kids getting used to exercising direct democracy and trying to decide how democratic they want to be, inspired by the anarchist occupy movement, they are attempting to be as democratic and sensitive to women and minorities issues. I even heard a speech about being sensitive to the insecurities of shy women. I used to hear that stuff twenty years ago at Food Not Bombs meetings in Long Beach. I am surprised that sort of thing is still required. I guess I should be happy that it has reached a larger audience, but for me it is simply distracting and part of a rising political correctness that is limiting free ranging conversation among the progressive community. People are more concerned with not offending than making valid points. But I deviate, grinding my own ax against the extreme political correctness that places the feelings of weak personalities over expressions of the truth. Sometimes the truth hurts and adults have to be able to deal with it.

http://www.smmirror.com/articles/News/Statewide-Student-Union-Organizing-Conference-To-Be-Held-At-Santa-Monica-College-On-Saturday/34664

http://www.dailycensored.com/2012/05/19/the-california-student-union-website-is-up/

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Over the weekend there were protests at the NATO meeting in Chicago, hundreds, perhaps thousands of anarchists and others, like nurses protested cuts and military spending.
http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2012/05/22/protester-police-used-batons-indiscriminately-during-nato-summit/

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In Montreal 500 students were busted last night in protests over cuts in education. We need some of that spirit of rebellion here in California.
http://www.thestar.com/news/article/1185229–dimanno-what-injustice-has-turned-montreal-into-a-city-under-siege?bn=1

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In Spain students are up in arms against austerities and in Greece there is a chance the government will fall and Greece will leave the EU. That would force the Germans to take responsibility for maintaining the Euro or there could be the irritating possibility of Spain dropping out and then the whole thing collapsing. The Europeans have a much longer tradition of being divided than being united, so this experiments failure would not be as traumatic as the south separating from the USA at the time of the civil war. On the other hand not paying all that debt will force a bit of a crisis and simply to survive the debt will have to be written off, otherwise there is a good chance of a renewed economic crisis. Or more specifically a deepening of the crisis which has been acting like a slow motion film of a bomb exploding.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5gED8j_4WKl-euFk8YJRpFLJ8X4QA?docId=CNG.f1cefb3c3a51fc5f61c8441a79ac90d5.2a1

http://www.marketplace.org/topics/world/easy-street/what-happens-if-greece-defaults-flow-chart?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=
Feed%3A+APM_Marketplace+(APM%3A+Marketplace)

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Gaddafi Going, Going, Gone? Egyptain Elections

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

As of this afternoon the Gaddafi forces are still battling with the opposition. Obama has called for Gaddafi to give up, it looks like he plans to go down fighting, defending his Green Revolution. Al Jazeera and the BBC have both given heavy coverage of the rebels, almost exclusively supportive of their efforts. The Gaddafi government has had almost no favorable coverage.
The NATO countries with their bombers and agents on land have been able to shape some of the Libyan tribal people into a semblance of an army and have managed to destroy the Gaddafi loyalist forces for the most part after a six month long struggle. Tribal warfare may continue for a while if the tribes that supported Gaddafi are not included in the new government. Chances are though, that a deal was brokered and that is the reason why there was so little resistance Sunday when the rebel forces entered Tripoli.
Is there a united government ready to take over? Perhaps.
This is from the Guardian.UK
“NTC officials say that they will not follow Iraq’s “de-Ba’athification” approach of purging state institutions of all of those that worked with Gaddafi, and that they will seek to include people who worked with the previous regime in order to build a more representative and inclusive leadership. Smart as this seems, it will be difficult to rein in desires for revenge and mistrust will certainly be an issue. One of the immediate imperatives for the NTC will be to disarm the various opposition militias that have banded together to take on the Gaddafi regime, spearheaded by young revolutionaries known as the 17 February movement (after the date when the uprising began). The NTC will have to take account of their views or face the risk of internal dissent.”
We shall see.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/aug/22/libya-government-post-gaddafi?CMP=twt_gu
The pressure is now on Syria to accede to the will of NATO.
Meanwhile in Egypt it seems the Muslim Brotherhood (Freedom & Justice Party) and the Al Wafd Party seem to be leading according to a Newsweek/Daily Beast poll taken a couple of months ago. Results below:
“29% Not sure/Undecided
17% Freedom and Justice Party
11% Al-Wafd Party
7% National Democratic Party
7% Free Egyptians Party
5% Justice Party
4% Free Egypt Party
3% Egyptian Stream Party
3% El Karama Party
2% Egyptian Labor Party
2% El Ghad Party
2% Tagamoe Party
1% Al Wasat Party
1% Democratic Front
7% Other”
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2011/07/26/egypt-political-poll-muslim-brotherhood-influence-troubles-for-west.html?om_rid=Nsfm59&om_mid=_BOMGO2B8chCZ6g
For information about all the parties see link below.
http://egyptelections.carnegieendowment.org/category/political-parties
The recent blow up between Egypt and Israel after several Egyptian police were killed as Israeli forces pursued guerrillas into Egypt after an assault that killed 8 Israelis. A biased but fairly comprehensive report can be found below.
From The Front Page Mag.com
“The fallout from the terrorist attack near the border town of Eliat this past Thursday that killed eight Israelis, and the subsequent pursuit of the murderers by Israeli security forces into Egypt that resulted in a confrontation with Egyptian police, killing as many as five, continues to be felt across the region.
Hamas launched a deadly barrage of rockets that killed one civilian and wounded twenty over the weekend, while Israel launched a series of air strikes that Hamas claims killed fourteen Palestinians. As Israeli politicians call for stronger action against the terrorists, the UN and Egypt are working to broker a cease-fire with Hamas. The terrorists agreed late Sunday to restoring the peace, but, according to the Associated Press, more rocket fire targeting Israeli towns was launched after the cease-fire deadline, and Israeli planes continued their strikes deep into Gaza. Apparently, not all Hamas factions have accepted the cease-fire and the violence continues.
The incident has sparked the most serious diplomatic row between Israel and Egypt since Hosni Mubarak was forced out last February. It has also further isolated Israel at a time when the Palestinian Authority is preparing to ask the United Nations General Assembly to grant it statehood.”


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