Monday, May 26, 2014

Letters from Egypt: Heading to the Polls (Again)

As I ventured downtown Thursday night, people were putting up more General Al Sisi signs. The sites consisted of 3-4 people (depending on the size of the sign) as music blared, unlike previous times that had crowds in the hundreds/thousands celebrating. A friend’s uncle spent LE 1,500 (over $200) for four regular signs and one large sign in support of Sisi (exactly who got that money, I wonder). Some of the Egyptian flags being sold on the street have Sisi's picture printed in the center, yet there are no signs or ads remotely featuring the general’s opponent, Hamdeen Sabahy.

Although the military leader is expected to win by a landslide, be on the lookout for his opponent to be granted a government position once the winner [Sisi] has been announced (e.g. ministerial cabinet or even prime minister). It would not be a free and fair election without another candidate. After all, transparency is the backbone of Egyptian society – past and present (and in the near future).

A few snapshots taken earlier today kicking off presidential elections:

Ladies lining up to cast their ballots; however, previous elections had double/triple this amount

Every medan and crosswalk features much of the same

Egyptians showing their support

Flags are everywhere, including this coffee shop

Are they happy about the elections or the day off from work?

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