Egypt recently held a democratic election in which they voted in their next president. President-Elect and Army Field Marshal Abdel Fattah El-Sisi was the winner by a rather staggering margin. President El-Sisi, already the current head of the country after personally deposing and jailing the former President Mohammed Morsi for causing political unrest, has been officially deemed as the President-Elect of the country by almost unanimous accord. President El-Sisi is now set up to serve for a four-year renewable term in office.
Though locally the news of President El-Sisi winning the election with a tremendously high percentage of supporters could have brought about many public celebrations, with fans cheering and shouting for the huge success, it did not come as a surprise to the Egyptian citizens. Egyptian polling totals, monitored by the members of the European Union, indicate that President El-Sisi had nearly 98 percent of the voter selection while the only other opponent, Hamdeen Sabahi gathered the remaining 3 percent of voters. Election officials say the total of Egyptian citizens that voted over the three day election is 40 million while 95 million Egyptians actually reside in Egypt. That means that roughly 47 percent of the population actually cast a ballot during the three day election period.
President-elect and army field marshal Abdel Fattah El-Sisi raked up a total of some 24 million voters. With at least half of the people living in Egypt never even showing up to vote this definitely puts up some red flags and makes it very difficult to determine if the voting elections were actually “free and fair.” Western diplomats and local councilors both agree that there is a large disparity between the classes of voters and that many of the voters who did not show up could be considered as “the lowest class members” in Egypt. Nabil Salib, a senior counselor and judge even went so far as to say that the disparities were such a disappointment that Egypt might be better off returning to the older procedures where a selected panel of political leaders voted for the President and this way a larger group of Egyptians could be represented.
President El-Sisi was not the first person to charter the “free and fair elections” in Egypt. Ousted President Morsi was the first democratically elected president of Egypt and is the leader who approved and amended the Egyptian constitution guaranteeing ‘free and fair elections.” Some International observers, including the representatives of the European Union and Democracy International, who witnessed the historical event, were very supportive of President and Field Marshall El-Sisi. Many were even pleased to see that Egypt is upholding its commitment to carrying the torch of democracy by extending the right to vote to each and every citizen. However, they also agreed that many tensions and set-backs arose throughout the three day election as well. Other western diplomats that attended concluded the lack of suitable presidential opponents and independents candidates was disturbing.
Egyptians voted for their new president with a land slide result. Whether Egypt’s new president will stay committed to the full term is uncertain. Six months before officially becoming the president El-Sisi made statements to local newspapers and on private TV stations promising the Egyptian people that there would be “free and fair elections.” At the time it was unclear if President El-Sisi would run in the 2014 elections. President El-Sisi’s only concern was installing the government and keeping the country at peace. Once elected into office the new president would have to be much more responsible for the country’s finances and economical disappointments, which in the past seemed to discourage President El-Sisi.
By Kimakra Nealy