News / Africa

Some Egyptians Admit Facing Depressing Choice in Runoff Election

A youth shouts next to an Egyptian flag as the revolutionary youth of Egypt return to Tahrir to protest the outcome of the Egyptian presidential election, Cairo, Egypt, May 28, 2012.A youth shouts next to an Egyptian flag as the revolutionary youth of Egypt return to Tahrir to protest the outcome of the Egyptian presidential election, Cairo, Egypt, May 28, 2012.
x
A youth shouts next to an Egyptian flag as the revolutionary youth of Egypt return to Tahrir to protest the outcome of the Egyptian presidential election, Cairo, Egypt, May 28, 2012.
A youth shouts next to an Egyptian flag as the revolutionary youth of Egypt return to Tahrir to protest the outcome of the Egyptian presidential election, Cairo, Egypt, May 28, 2012.
Elizabeth Arrott
CAIRO - After the promise of round one of Egypt's first post-revolution presidential election, a bitter debate has arisen among many voters over the relative merits - and demerits - of the final two candidates.

The crowds on Tahrir Square last year were euphoric; they had forced their president of nearly 30 years to resign. The promise of the revolution was still there in round one  -- 13 candidates on the ballot, the first real choice most voters had ever had.

But the fruits of that effort - a run-off between Islamist Mohamed Morsi and a candidate of the old guard, Ahmed Shafiq - have proved bitter to many.

The majority of Egyptians voted for neither.  Going into round two, many face a depressing decision of which candidate they dislike the least.

Political sociologist Said Sadek is no fan of the old government - he calls it “military fascism.”  But, he says, one alternative is worse.  

“Politics is about relative points of views," said Sadek.  "When you use religion, you're talking about the absolute: this is their opinion and that's it."

Sadek points to experiments with religious rule elsewhere.

“Are we going to repeat the Iranian revolution and what the Iranian secularists and liberals did? -- that out of their hatred to the Shah they collaborated with a worse political group that in the end slaughtered them," said Sadek.  

For decades the Muslim Brotherhood has publicly renounced violence.  But even among Egyptians who find the group less distasteful than the military, its current promise of moderation is less than convincing.

For Some Egyptians, Choosing a President They Dislike Leasti
|| 0:00:00
X
Elizabeth Arrott
June 01, 2012 2:54 PM
After the promise of round one of Egypt's first post-revolution presidential election, a bitter debate has arisen among many voters over the relative merits - and demerits - of the final two candidates. VOA's Elizabeth Arrott have more from Cairo.

A columnist and advocate of the revolution, Rania el Malki, says the Muslim Brotherhood "would say something today and change their mind about it tomorrow.  And this is what they have done even, you know, when it came to fielding their president in the first place."

Despite her reservations, el Malki says at least there is hope the Brotherhood's stated commitment to civil liberties is better than the known repression of the old guard.

“We are caught between the devil and the deep blue sea [two bad choices], the devil or drowning]] and I think, in the deep blue sea scenario some miracle could happen," said el Malki.  "I’d rather take that chance than know we are going back to exactly where we were on 24th of January 2011.”

Adding to the sense of gloom, is the possibility of the worst of both.
 
“What I fear most is an alliance between military fascism and religious fascism and this has started from the beginning of the revolution,” said Said Sadek.

While such pessimism is not shared by all, it is the sentiment of many, not just in Egypt, but across the region - where the hopes of the Arab Spring are tempered by political realities.

You May Like

IS Militants Release 49 Turkish Hostages

Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency reports that no ransom was paid and no conditions accepted for the hostages' release; few details of the release are known More

Photogallery IS Attacks Send Thousands of Syrian Kurds Fleeing to Turkey

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says more than 300 Kurdish fighters crossed into Syria from Turkey to defend a Kurdish area from attack by the Islamic militants More

Video Sierra Leone's Ebola Lockdown Continues

Thousands of health workers are going door to door in the West African country of 6 million, informing people of how to avoid Ebola, handing out soap More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’i
X
Jeff Seldin
September 20, 2014 10:28 PM
Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid