May 30, 2014

Election without voters.

polling center in Alexandria.
Alexandria 26th, voters ambition to elect their new president lead them to line up in front of the polling center in long lines before the kick-off of the election, most of online media and televised ones claimed. A tour around polling centers by midday showed the carnival ambiance filling the streets.

"Tamanya tamanya" on the edges of city of Alexandria, flyers made by Al-Nour party is all over promoting people to vote for Sisi as the savior of the state and Islam, a speech has been used to promote people to vote for Mohamed Morsi, the previous president which has been toppled by the military on the 3rd of July.

A group of Al-nour supporters standing 50 meters outside polling center, with sound system rocking the neighborhood to attract more people to group up and vote, however all those attempts met with no reactions, those who stood their for couple of hours to push people to vote, were the only ones who went to vote.

Back to Alexandria passing the midday point, most of the polling centers are empty except from the security personals and the officials inside, even some of them are empty from monitors of the campaigns of both candidates, asking those officials inside about the turnout, you receive a quite same answer "the next center is filled with voters" or rarely you got answered by "10 mins ago it -our center- was filled with voters"

The general atmosphere on the local media, both private and governmental, by noon was believing that by night the masses will show up since they were working all day long, also promoting once in a while to vote for certain candidate -the general Sisi-, but that's what faded away approaching the end of the first day of the election.

Media response to the turnout was viral, night talk shows anchors speeches varies from begging voters to join the next day of the election to shoot themselves for their hesitation, while the government was shocked by the turnout they tried to maintain their calm and diffuse rumors about upcoming vacation at the second day of election but not for too long, the government issued nation wide vacation for governmental sector by midnight, and urged the private sector to do so.

Reports start to flood the T.V screens and internet trying to analyse the dilemma of "where is the voters?" some goes for the heat and the sun, some strategical analysts -former generals of army and police- blame it on harvest season, others claim that the way the voters are distributed through the centers, and the terrorist attempts.

Early morning of the 2nd day of election, the centers opened again hopefully after last midnight governmental decisions and mass media propaganda the boycotters will show up looming with a slide turnout, and officials felt again they need to push the voters more to join the "democratic process" which represents the popular support to Sisi even more the military, however things are not the same like year ago, which had proved that military is the only party which has the ability to mobilize the population, surprisingly, supporters of the military might approved certain context which army could operate under, but they now think twice in terms of handing the country as one piece to an Ex-general backed by the wealthiest armored party in the country.

"Abstainers will be fined, it is the law and must be forced" Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb said that. the fine which they will implement on boycotters is about 500 EGP (70$), which never been forced during the previous presidential election, "those who will boycott will be summoned to the public attorneys" sources from inside Supreme Presidential Electoral Commission (SPEC).

Confusion slammed officials by night, minister of local development denying extending election for third day, couple of hours later, confirming that the vote will be extended for one more day based on popular demands.

Before closing hour of the second voting day, confirmed news of Hamdeen Sabahi's campaign monitors arrested for complaining to judges about violation in and outside polling centers, which lead to mass call for hamden inside his campaign and among his supporters to withdraw, claiming such manipulations of the electoral process and insults to our friends and colleagues in the campaign by security forces, which escalated to physical abuses in certain cases, although rumors of Hamdeen's withdraw has been denied by spokesperson of his campaign, the campaign withdrew it's monitors nationwide protesting such violations, but for participants it seems that wasn't enough for them that in certain cities some of key figures in the campaign, mostly young activists, decided to announce their resignations in masses protesting Hamdeen's reluctance.

Morning 28th of june, Al-Ahram newspaper headline is "Huge attendance shows up amid festive atmosphere", in Alexandria patriotic songs could be heard from certain polling centers at down town, however, those centers where could have short lines ones in a while, they got nothing except couple of voters once in a while. although the voting day haven't finished, but estimates of participation ranging from around 35% to more than 45% circulate the governmental and private T.V channels on behalf of sources inside the committee, although, the Arabian parliament monitors estimate the turnout 50% of the eligible voters.

Midday, government announced free-transportation for those outside of their home governorates so they can vote at their assigned polling centers. later on (SPEC) announced turnout for the 2nd day estimated by 37%. Sisi electoral campaign claimed the turnout is 45% for the three voting days.

Private sector firms urged their workers to cast their votes in the elections, others linked bonuses to the vote. City stars which is one of the biggest shopping malls in Cairo, announced closing by afternoon giving chance to workers and shoppers to join the electoral process.

However, claims about turnout is still contradicting each other, and contradicting whats on the ground. but the fear of losing to achieve turnout equal or over passing past elections is obvious, which mostly a lot of calculations later after the election inside the country which is already shows declining the approval rate that the General Sisi gained a year ago, and with the United states monitoring with a blind eye the situation even praising the current "electoral process" neglecting the environment around it, even Head of the EU observer mission calling the environment of the election "democratic and free"

By night, preliminary estimations released estimates Sisi obtaining more than 90% of the votes, later, after counting most of the polling centers across the country online media and night talk shows on t.v showed Sisi gaining between 92%-96%, leading most of t.v channels to celebrate Sisi's viral winning, even judges involved in the process decided to air results with media in based on their estimation of Sisi holding the majority of votes.

While counting process was aired live in some polling station, video showed counting invalid votes with Sisi votes, however, most of organisation monitoring the elections stressed the point that there were violations among the process, but they will never affect it's credibility.

Celebrating the winning, Sisi's supporters take it to streets in different cities till early morning, private and public t.v channels urged people to go down and celebrate.

However the low participation was not shown in the preliminary figures, yet another certain fact which seems to be neglected by officials, either intentionally or not, is the youth participation in the elections. during the days of the electoral process most of hatred speech was directed to youth either from the media, or from the streets, discriminating them from the society as a result for their boycotting. 

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