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A Look at Elections in Egypt

Today, the first post-Mubarak elections started in earnest with a huge turnout and very little violence reported at the polling stations…!

Here’s an excellent rundown on some of the major parties on the ballot for seats in the Parliament… Factbox: Political parties, groups in post-Mubarak Egypt…

The BBC has a great article on how the Egyptian electorate can discern between the individual parties… Egypt vote: The weird and wonderful party logos…

Even the Grey Lady had provided a great snapshot of today’s polling and how Egypt’s social media really stepped up…

Election Monitoring Crowd-Sourced in Egypt

Although some prominent Internet activists decided to boycott Monday’s elections in Egypt to protest continued military rule, many well-known bloggers spent the day working as self-appointed election monitors. Using the same social media tools that helped them to force Hosni Mubarak from office, the bloggers posted images of long lines at polling places and passed on reports of apparent violations of the electoral code…

…Ranya Khalifa, another blogger who voted in Heliopolis, reported on Twitter that it took her six hours to get to the front of the line.

Late Monday night, Yasmine El Rashidi, an author and blogger, reported that she was moved to see that there were still “a few thousand in line at the women’s voting station in Zamalek,” among them some very old people…

…The blogger also noted that one cafe in the area, Cilantro, had dispatched waiters to take orders from people waiting in the long line to vote.

Mr. Elshamy also argued that the apparently large turnout on Monday had vindicated his decision to take part in the elections, and “shows the bubble many boycotters are living in.”

Now, heading into today’s polling…

Egypt’s new PM says new parliament may change government

Any parliamentary majority that emerges from Egyptian legislative elections may move to install a new government, Egypt’s new prime minister-designate Kamal Ganzouri said on Sunday.

The comments appeared at odds with remarks by a member of the ruling military council who said on Saturday the new parliament, to be elected in a vote that begins on Monday, would not be able to dismiss the government or pick new ministers.

Ganzouri was appointed by the military council on Friday to head a government to replace the cabinet of Essam Sharaf, which resigned last week in the face of mass protests against army rule…

However, Tantawi said not so fast…

Tantawi defies Tahrir’s crowds on eve of election

…With voting today in the first round of landmark parliamentary elections, protesters in Cairo are calling for the ruling Military Council to step aside immediately in favour of an interim civilian government, setting up a political standoff which could yet derail the country’s emergence from decades of dictatorship.

Over the weekend, Mohamed el-Baradei, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate and a presidential candidate, offered to relinquish his bid for Egypt’s top job in order to assume leadership of the interim council – a proposal backed by numerous political coalitions.

But Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, the chief of the Military Council which took power in February after the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak, yesterday rejected calls to step down. Instead he warned of “extremely grave” consequences if the unrest in Cairo was allowed to continue, blaming “foreign hands” for being behind the clashes.

“Hosni Mubarak used to say the same things,” said Maha Maamoun, a member of the No to Military Trials activist group. “It’s a very confusing situation.”

Mr Tantawi’s warning came as tens of thousands of protesters again packed Tahrir Square yesterday in a final effort to topple Egypt’s generals. It was the ninth day of protests including nearly a week of violent nationwide unrest in which 41 civilians have died.

But Mr Tantawi appeared intent on isolating the demonstrators in Tahrir Square, saying the government would “not allow troublemakers to meddle in the elections”.

Now, Israel, or rather Bibi, is scared shit-less over the Muslim Brotherhood’s expected gains…

Arab Spring elections boost democracy, and Israeli fears
Egyptian parliamentary elections that begin Monday are expected to result in victory for an Islamic party – in this case, the one affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood

Oh noes…! Not Islamists and their Shari’a Law…! As long as it’s not the misogynist Wahhabi and/or Salafi form, they need to get a grip…!

God bless and God speed to the Egyptians…!

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