On Sunday, Ahmed Shafiq blasted the Ikhwan and their record, claiming they would set Egypt back to the Middle Ages. Many saw this as opportunity for Shafiq to use fear to gain votes and that the tactic was likely to work.
Many hold that Shafiq supporters are the elites protecting their status and the Coptic Christians who fear a take over by the Islamists. Others who intend or have voted for Shafiq seek ‘stability’ in an uncertain time and tend to view him as someone with past experience in “managing the country,” as one Egyptian told me. That very Egyptian, a receptionist of a local hotel added he voted for Shafiq and will no longer vote for him or the other candidate. He claimed he wished he had voted for Hamdeen Sabbahi, if only he knew he had a chance. Sabbahi was the underdog candidate that ended up as 3rd runner-up; many Egyptians after the elections regret not voting for him instead for the very same reason.
“I’d vote for Morsi,” said a female college student. “At worst, if he doesn’t do well we can always elect someone new in four years time.” She went on to add optimistically, “However, I highly doubt he will mess up since he’s keen on running for another term.”
Everyone has his or her reasons for voting for Morsi or Shafiq. Then there are those who intend on boycotting the elections because they feel neither candidate is palatable. A college graduate explained that she would annul her ballot by damaging it, for fears of it being used for the benefit of either candidate. I asked her whether she thought that they (the ballot counters) could still use her vote regardless of what she does to the ballot, “I don’t know, but it’s worth a shot though.”
Due to the outcome of the elections and the verdict, there has been an interesting turn of events. A proposed ‘presidential council’ consisting of eliminated presidential candidates Hamdeen Sabbahi, Khaled Ali, and Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh has been put together. Interestingly, Mohamed ElBaradei’s National Association of Change initiated this concept after the toppling of Egypt’s president. It was reconsidered during the Mohamed Mahmoud protests last November, but due to disagreement never happened.
According to Ahram Online, the trio has reached an agreement on three matters: “Mubarak and his aides should receive urgent and fair retrials; the recently approved Political Disenfranchisement Law must be implemented (meaning disqualification for Mubarak's last PM and runoff contender, Ahmed Shafiq); and that a proposed presidential council, which emerged in Tahrir Square, should be respected and taken into consideration.”
The three had a meeting with Morsi on Monday to discuss this agreement and potentially have him on board. He left clearly discontent with what they had to offer, calling their project ‘unconstitutional’. Since January 25th, nothing really has been on the lines of ‘constitutional’ in the first place; clearly Morsi is the one who is out of touch with reality. Of course, it is important to know he is not making the decisions, but the Ikhwan itself.
Former Arab League Secretary General and eliminated presidential candidate Amr Moussa saw the unelected ‘Presidential Council’ as a “step backwards” from the democratic process.
I think the most unsettling thing I heard in the past several days was when the same hotel receptionist pointed out, “With the way things are going at this point, I would not be surprised if Egyptians elect Gamal Mubarak four years from now.”
Well Egypt, in a little less than two weeks it will be time to pick a new president – pick your poison.By Holly Dagres, Aslan Media Columnist