I think the Scream is an accurate depiction of how I’m feeling right now.
So, official results are out. Actually, they have been for upwards of a day. But I had an exam yesterday, so I decided to engage in some rare moments of studying. AKA cramming 300 pages worth of material in 2 days. Definitely NOT recommended by the way. And then there was the obligatory 12 hours of sleep after any exam.
Anyway, official results stated that the run-offs would be Morsi vs. Shafik. I think a lot of people are looking at it as Iran 2.0 vs. Mubarak 2.0 though.
After the initial counts I saw, I didn’t doubt that this would be the final result. Also, I was pretty sure that Sabahi’s appeal wouldn’t be accepted, so the confused and upset state seemingly everyone around me was in after it was announced didn’t necessarily extend to me. That is to say, I was already feeling blue before those announcements.
Now, let me just take a moment to say that so far, I haven’t explicitly stated who I was supporting in these elections. At least not on this blog. That said, I voted for neither Morsi nor Shafik in the first round. And if I had to comment on these results (do remember that I’m in Alexandria, and those two were the least popular nominees here), I’m convinced it’s a bad case of Stockholm syndrome. Or, there’s a lot of behind the scenes manipulation of results. I’m not going to jump quickly and say the elections were rigged. Especially in terms of vote counts, but it’s entirely possible (and likely) that these votes don’t reflect what the public really thinks.
Let me just comment that both Sabahi and Aboul Fotouh, who were thought to be the nominees representing the revolution, had about 40% of votes. That’s discounting those who voted for Morsi and were revolutionaries (yes, those do exist!). That number in and of itself is significant, and it’s disappointing to me, looking back now, that those two nominees didn’t join together as one party (one president and the other as vice president), because they would’ve surely won.
I’m not a huge fan of conspiracy theories, but the sudden popularity of Sabahi may have been a well-planned strategy to get them both out of the race. Because if it were Sabahi vs. Shafik or Aboul Fotouh vs. Shafik, there would be no doubt about who would win the final race. As it is though, the Muslim Brotherhood is getting a lot of bad propaganda, while Shafik is a representation of the old regime. Thus, people are trying to calculate who is the “best of two evils” so to say, and it’s not an easy decision.
Second, the nature of the ballots made it so that votes had to by counted by hand. Now, I don’t know about you, but if I had to count thousands of votes by hand, there’s no way that will be fool-proof. So, I wonder what the margin of error was, and I speculate about its significance of having the final count be Shafik vs. Morsi instead of Sabahi making that final round as well.
Third, this is the first time elections have been held in Egypt, so for your average citizen, thinking critically about this is something new. That means that this process was never going to be fool-proof. I don’t think anyone expected it to be, and I wonder whether part of the support Shafik and Morsi got was due to people’s familiarity with who they are and what they represent, irrespective of whether or not they actually support them. Maybe, some voted for Shafik and Morsi knowing the consequences of their votes fully, but that was only because they didn’t want to vote for someone who was less transparent or clear.
Then, there comes the argument that people want stability. At this point, some are convinced that the country is worse for wear. More so than before the revolution. So, in their minds, stability is more important than liberty and freedom. As such, Shafik, who has promised to restore order, sounds favorable.
Alright onto my own thoughts. To be put plainly: this sucks! Shafik sounds like a deranged dictator-to-be. For me, what’s really alarming is that he’s like that BEFORE he has even taken power. Looking back at Mubarak, he surely didn’t seem like he would turn out to be a maniacal power-hungry tyrant. It was once he’d gotten to the position of president that these probably covert motives were revealed. I’m trying not to cringe of thinking what would happen to Shafik after he takes power. Because he seems plenty corrupt already. I don’t know how he can become worse, but I fully trust that he can.
As for Morsi, well, we all know the baggage FJP comes with. Will becoming an Islamic state put Egypt at risk of becoming the new Iran? Or even the new Saudi Arabia?
I believe that people can’t be forced to like any religion and any obedience that comes under such a government may very well be oppressive. However, I also believe that any idiot can stabilize a country by committing mass genocide to any opposition. So, the question is: what would the martyrs of the revolution want us to do in this situation? And is Egypt forever doomed?