This week we had the re-run of the second stage and the first run of the third stage of parliamentary elections.
The second stage was the most violent. Although one person died in the first run of the third stage there was less violence but the police and security forces prevented many people from entering polling stations.
76 seats and counting…
The Muslim Brotherhood (a.k.a: Ikhwan) are winning more and more seats in the next parliament.
Baheyya comments on this issue:
The Ikhwan have done well to take voters and their needs seriously, and voters in turn are returning the favour by braving security phalanxes and demanding their right to be heard (above). Now I am deeply ambivalent about the Ikhwan, but who cares? As my Egyptian politics guru rightly reminds (that’s right, guru), one cannot impugn their fundamental respect for the ordinary Egyptian, and their superior skills at capitalising on and augmenting seemingly puny opportunities. They are not infallible and they are not without schisms, but they are committed. And they are clean.
The challenge for the Ikhwan as a political phenomenon will be to maintain and truly live up to voters’ trust. No easy task, and not a foregone conclusion.
Issandar of the Arabist, says that not a single political analyst could have predicted that they would win such large number of seats. He also says that they are not entirely innocent from the incidents of violence, yet they are not directly responsible.
Issandar analyzes the MB's tactics in the media:
A thought has been forming in my head over the past few weeks, slowly taking shape into this basic and perhaps obvious realization: the MB is carrying out a long-planned, highly orchestrated and well-organized media offensive in parallel with its political offensive during the elections. This op-ed, and the one a few days ago in the Guardian are part of a string of evidence that it is making a real effort at communication to Egyptian, Arab and international media.
Haisam in the 2nd stage re-run, reports that Dr. Mohammed Abdellah President of the University of Alexandria took university students in University busses to go vote for him. He then joins Malek to visit several polling stations. He says that it was the same thing for all stations. The security forces sealed it compeletly only few managed to get in. Outside every station tens of Brotherhood members were chanting their slogans. He also noticed that journalists and elections monitors were denied entry. While chanting a man asks him why he was standing silent, he replied that he was not from the Brotherhood. The man replies telling him “no problem, aren't you a Muslim ?”
Haisam thinks that Brotherhood is not involved in a game or a deal with the NDP as some important figures did lose seats to the Brotherhood. And even opposition figures who made some deals with the NDP were defeated badly.
Freedom for Egyptians thinks that:
It is such a naïve political game is meant to make us believe that the presence and the continuation of the current regime is protecting us against the evils of the Muslim Brotherhood in a country that pretends to be secular. It is either the regime or the Islamists.
Magdy Helal says as a practicing muslim for him the world Islam carries good meanings and the slogan “Islam is the solution” means a lot to him. And if a person doesn't understand what does it mean he should revise what he knows about his own religion. He also says that whoever is fighting for freedom should support the Brotherhood too. Despite what other opinions say, they have succeeded in opening the doors for the people to choose.
The Second Crossing
The Sandmonkey posts with pictures:
But that's not all. People really wanted to participate and make their vote count, and they decided to outsmart the police who is preventing them from going in, by using laders to sneak into the polling stations like thieves.
In one village, men and women determined to vote resorted to sneaking into the polling station, putting up ladders to climb over back walls — out of sight of police barring the entrance — and slipping through bathroom windows to get in.
Those people braved serious injury so that they can go in and exercise their constitutional right to vote. The Police, which was supposed to facilitate and protect them tried to prevent them from even using that way to get inside the polling station.
Most surprising of all is the tenacity and fearlessness of some Egyptian voters. Unfazed by knife- and stick-wielding thugs, intimidating police formations shooting rubber bullets and tear gas, and the sheer logistical hurdles and sense of doubt accompanying the act of voting, ordinary men and women have trudged to polling stations to demand their rights.
But, you see, the vast majority of Egypt’s people don’t have the luxury of over analysing anything. Their life circumstances are much more pressing. The act of voting for them is a matter of survival and dignity.
There is a rumor, a strong rumor actually, going around in newspapers and blogs. The rumor says that Gamal Mubarak is going to start a new party together with NDP members who support him. Freedom for Egyptians says that there might be a fight between the old guards and the news ones:
The fight is ongoing between the old guard, led by the Speaker of the Shura Council and former minister of information, Safwat Al-Sharif, and the new guard. Apparently, Al-Sharif alliance won the battle. The new guard led by Gamal Mubarak is seeking to form a new party to overcome their defeat.
Egyptian Person comments on two strange incidents. The first is that a Nasserist parliamentary candidate is asking for the removal of the names of 2000 registered voters from his electoral circuit because they once lived in Israel and are married to Israeli women. Egyptian Person notes that the women are Arab-Israelis. The other incident is that a lawyer filed a suit to revoke the citizenship from the participants of the recent Coptic conference in the US.
Egyptian Person asks:
Who said dictatorship or fascism has to come from the government? And how can we ask a dictatorship to implement democracy if many of the people who demand democracy are the same people who try to throw out those who are different and those who disagree with the “opinion of the people”, and consider them unworthy to be Egyptians to begin with?
The Sandmonkey posts about 25 Pakistanis disappearing without a trace in Alexandria, leaving behind their belonging and passports.
Ibn Ad dunia reminds us of an assassination plot by Mamdouh Hamza. Who wanted to hire hitmen to take down an Egyptian minister and a plan to to kill other prominent old NDP figures.
Despite all this Freedom for Egyptianshas good sentiments towards her country and wants to take a break.