The last stretch

Published on Al-Ahram weekly online, by Khaled Dawoud, 17 – 23 May 2012.

… Two opinion polls released this week, by the Cabinet Information and Decision Support Centre (IDSC) and independent pollsters Nazra, show Shafik and Moussa running neck and neck on 16 per cent or else Shafik slightly ahead of Moussa, followed by Abul-Fotouh on nine per cent, Mursi on six per cent and Sabahi with five per cent. 

Al-Ahram Centre for Political and Strategic Studies gives Moussa a solid 40.8 per cent lead, followed by Shafik on 19.9 per cent, Abul-Fotouh with 17.8 per cent, Mursi on 9.4 per cent and Sabahi with seven per cent. The IDSC and Nazra polls showed between 37 and 40 per cent of Egyptians remain undecided. Al-Ahram’s poll showed a much lower 15 per cent of respondents had yet to make up their mind.

The accuracy of the polls will soon be tested against the results. The first returns will be from expatriate Egyptians. The week long window in which they voted ends today. Counting will take place at embassies and consulates on Friday and Saturday with the results expected on Sunday. Figures released yesterday by the Foreign Ministry suggest more than 300,000 Egyptians voted abroad, with the highest turnout being in the oil-rich Gulf states. Egyptians in the United States and Europe voted in far smaller numbers. The Muslim Brotherhood has already claimed its candidate leads in the overseas poll.

Poll results are likely to disappoint the millions of Egyptians who took part in the 25 January Revolution against Mubarak’s regime. Across social media, but particularly on Facebook and Twitter, campaigns have been launched in an attempt to convince Egyptians not to vote for either Shafik or Moussa.

“Vote for Shafik and you vote for the regime we sacrificed our blood to be rid of,” wrote Monem Al-Mohammadi on his Facebook page. One post on Facebook urged its readers to steal the ID cards of their parents if the latter intended to vote for either Shafik or Moussa … //

… Early opinion polls suggested that a run-off vote between Moussa and Abul-Fotouh was the most likely outcome of the first round poll. The strong showing in recent weeks by Shafik and Mursi could change that.

Whatever the result, though, no one is suggesting simply electing a president will solve Egypt’s problems. The constitution remains unwritten and no one knows under what conditions SCAF will voluntarily relinquish power without holding on to its privileged status. The economy and security situation continue to deteriorate, and the chances of any result being announced without accompanying allegations of vote rigging are nil. (full text).

Links:

Slowly and not surly: Efforts aimed at forming a constituent assembly tasked with writing Egypt’s new constitution are moving at a snail’s pace …

Economic vows: Social justice was one of the main goals of the 25 January Revolution and a lynchpin in the economic platforms of Egypt’s presidential candidates …

on en.wikipedia:

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