Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Election Day

Today, it’s hot. Very hot. At nine in the morning, there were already 33° C in the shadow. And it will get hotter today, also in the figurative sense.

Today is the first of two election days, on which Egyptians vote for a president without knowing in advance who will be the one elected. Yet the majority can’t make up its mind who to choose. I asked some of my acquaintances.

S. goes to Alexandria since this is where he is registered and this is where he has to vote. He will make up his mind when driving all the way to Alexandra. It’s a nine hours trip.

M.R. has travelled to Ismaijlia (on the Suez Canal). He’s a very conservative traditionally thinking man and therefore very religious. Will he vote for a Muslim? No, by all means: he describes the long bearded Salafis and Muslim brothers and means that despite their long beards they were all liars. What’s written outside is not necessarily inside as well.

Our security, M., an elderly polite Sir who loves to chat with me has decided to vote for Amr Moussa, after having contemplated a lot. He sticks to established methods.

M.A., a surprisingly broad-minded man tends to vote for Hamdi Sabbahi, a nationalist and nasserist. Sabbahi has increased his popularity these days according to the polls. He seems to be the lesser evel. But M.A. can’t go to his home governorate – so no way to go to the polls.

A politically very versed radical, well-educated young man, S.K., is not going to vote at all. He has not been convinced by any of the candidates or their programs.

“And who are you going to vote for, tomorrow“, I asked a friend last night. “I can’t vote. I’m registered in Alexandria and am unable to go there now.” He’s annoyed about the fact, that Egyptians living abroad may vote, but he as well as hundreds of thousands can’t vote although he’s living in Egypt. Injustice!

Not only living beings are on the electoral lists, but also dead, soldiers and police men who actually are not allowed to vote. Why are they listed? They support those candidates that are pre-elected or should be or ought to be…

In case the Islamists lose the presidential race, they will make waves and go out to Tahrir, S.K. is predicting. And how should the SCAF react in this case? With violence? Given the actual density of weapons circulating in Egypt and given the Islamists being prone to violence could this be very dangerous.

It’s noon and there are 39° C. It’s extremely hot. It will even be hotter on the coming days – in every sense.

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