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

Sydney Hostage-taker Failed to Manipulate Social Media

Gunman forced captives to use personal Facebook, YouTube accounts to issue his demands; online community helped flag messages, urged others not to share them More

UN Seeks $8.4 Billion to Help War-Hit Syrians

Effort aimed at helping Syrians displaced within their own country and those who've fled to neighboring ones More

Who Are the Pakistani Taliban?

It's an umbrella group of militant organizations whose objective is enforcement of Sharia in Pakistan 'whether through peace or war' 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.
Putin: Russian Economy to Rebound in 2 Yearsi
X
December 18, 2014 5:13 PM
Russian President Vladimir Putin held his annual end-of-the-year news conference Thursday, tackling questions on the Russian economy, the crisis in Ukraine and Russian relations with the west. VOA's Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Putin: Russian Economy to Rebound in 2 Years

Russian President Vladimir Putin held his annual end-of-the-year news conference Thursday, tackling questions on the Russian economy, the crisis in Ukraine and Russian relations with the west. VOA's Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid