Mohamed Mosri's supporters in Cairo. Photo by Mosa'ab Elshamy.
The following is an interview with Citizenside reporter Kevin Hani about the Egyptian presidential elections that are being held on May 23 and 24, 2012.
Q: What are your predictions for the upcoming election?
A: In my opinion, the upcoming election is just a fraud!
It’s not possible to have a fair voting process under the rule of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), which is actually considered a part of the old regime. Since February 2011, all SCAF actions are against the Egyptian revolution, not to mention the massacres happened along the past 15 months. So, logically it’s not possible that the SCAF would allow a revolutionist candidate to reach the Presidency office.
Other problems are facing the possibility of a free election to take place, such as the law proclaimed by the SCAF that the actions of the Election Committee can’t be challenged before the courts. It was also found by some activists that the names of the deceased citizens are registered among the names that have the right to vote.
The biggest controversy is that the upcoming President actually does not know his job description! There is no Constitution in Egypt to tell us what the president actually does, or if Egypt is a Parliamentary or Presidential state!
Q: Do the three main candidates (Mohamed Morsi, Amr Moussa and Abolfotoh) represent the interests of the Egyptian majority?
A: Actually Morsi is not a main candidate; the main candidates are Moussa, Shafiq, Abolfotoh and Sabahy. Moussa and Shafiq represent the old regime and I expect rigging the elections in favor of one of them. Their supporters are the people who are fed up of the unstable political conditions in Egypt.
After the revolution, I consider them the majority. Abolfotoh and Sabahy are the revolution candidates, Conservatives support Abolfotoh while Lefties support Sabahy and Liberals are divided between both of them. Morsi is the Muslim Brotherhood candidate and only his Brotherhood supports him.
Q: Is Egypt becoming the democracy that the people hoped for when they overthrew Hosni Mubarak?
A: No! Since the SCAF became in charge they were trying to recover the old regime as much as possible.
Only “cosmetic” changes were done which are not effective enough.
Q: How do you respond to the growing popularity of the Muslim Brotherhood? Does it influence individuals' ability to practice religion freely, even if they aren't Muslim?
A: The popularity of the Musilm Brotherhood was growing massively after the revolution and they have become the majority in the Parliament but their actions were so disappointing for the Egyptian citizen, and that was a reason that their popularity is now weaker than before.
Til now their actions haven’t affected any religious practice, but with that attitude they may affect it in the future.
What direction will Egypt head...
Q: If Morsi is elected?
A: Islamic Country and a new Pakistan would take place in the region!
Also, the Muslim Brotherhood will be in control with the Parliament and the Presidency so we will face another form of the old regime where the National Democratic Party (NDP) was in control with everything!
Q: If Moussa is elected?
A: The old Regime will come back much more stronger!
Q: If Abolfotoh is elected?
A: [It would be an] Islamic country as Abolfotoh is a former member in the Muslim Brotherhood.
Q: Which issues are most pressing for Egypt's people?
A: Poverty and social justice. 40% of Egyptians are below the poverty line!
Interview conducted by Tabitha Waggoner and Marianne LeVine, two of our Citizenside editorial interns.