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

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

Judge Declares Washington DC Ban on Public Handguns Unconstitutional

Ruling overturns capital city's prohibition on carrying guns in pubic More

Pricey Hepatitis C Drug Draws Criticism

Activists are using the International AIDS Conference to criticize drug companies for charging high prices for life-saving therapies 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.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid