MENASource|News, Analysis, Perspectives

MENASource
MenaSource logo

Follow MENASource:

TwitterRSS


The High Electoral Commission released official results for the first stage of elections on December 4.  The Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) led the polls with 40 percent of the vote and the Salafi Nour Party came in second with 20 percent, followed by the Egyptian Bloc with 15 percent. The Wafd Party won 6 percent, while the moderate Islamist Wasat Party won 4 percent.

Results for the 28 largest parties competing in the elections are listed below:  

1. Freedom and Justice Party: 3,565,092 votes
 
2. Nour Party: 2,371,713 votes
 
3. The Egyptian Bloc: 1,299,819 votes
 
4. Wafd Party: 690,077 votes
 
5. Wasat Party: 415,059 votes
 
6. Revolution Continues Alliance: 335,947 votes
 
7. Reform and Development Party: 185,238 votes
 
8. Egypt National Party: 153,429 votes
 
9. Freedom Party: 136,784 votes
 
10. Adl Party: 76,769 votes
 
11. Conservatives Party: 76,743 votes
 
12. The Egyptian Citizen: 67,602 votes
 
13. Peace Democratic Party: 51,704 votes
 
14. Ghad Party: 39,999 votes
 
15. The Union Party: 39,527 votes
 
16. The Arab Nasserist Party: 39,257 votes
 
17. The Egyptian Revolution Party: 36,975 votes
 
18. The Democratic Front Party: 33,293 votes
 
19. The Egyptian Arab Union: 31,223 votes
 
20. Modern Egypt Party: 27,006 votes
 
21. Egypt the Revolution Party: 26,804 votes
 
22. The New Independents Party: 10,792 votes
 
23. The Revolution Guardians Party: 5,895 votes
 
24. Human and Citizenship Rights Party: 4,436 votes
 
25. Social Peace Party: 3,416 votes
 
26. The Awareness Party: 3,180 votes
 
27. The Arab Party for Justice and Equality: 3,156 votes
 
28. The Constitutional Social Free Party: 3,047 votes
photo_1322916115331-1-0_1.jpg

Egypt's High Electoral Commission (HEC) has once again delayed the announcement of full election results, already pushed back by two days. At a press conference on December 4, the commission's head, Abdel Moez Ibrahim, announced a turnout rate of 62 percent and partial figures for some districts, before abruptly calling an end to the session, saying he had "no more energy" and had "run out of gas." Ibrahim claimed that the HEC has been unable to calculate the proportion of votes won by some party lists due to delayed results from certain polling stations. When reporters tried to inquire about the results for proportional representation seats, Ibrahim looked irritated and declined further questions, saying that that full results will be posted to the commission's website

Video Credit: YouTube
Photo Credit: AFP
 

Amr Hamzawy

Congratulations to Amr Hamzawy, prominent liberal intellectual and a good friend, for winning his seat in Heliopolis as an independent in the first round of parliamentary elections.  And without so much as a runoff!  

It is comforting that sound ideas, hard work, and courage count for something with Egyptian voters.  As this hilarious graphic indicates, Amr will certainly have his work cut out for him in an assembly that promises to be well stocked with Islamists.

Michele Dunne is the director of the Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East and an official observer of the first stage of the parliamentary elections. She can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

High Electoral Commission

The High Electoral Commission is preparing to announce official results for the first stage of elections. The HEC’s preliminary statement confirms record turnout:

  • 62 percent of eligible voters – 8,614,525 Egyptians – cast ballots in the first round
     
  • 2,756 ballot boxes were supervised by 10,143 members of the judiciary

This post will be updated when final results are available.

Photo Credit: al-Masry al-Youm

Kamal Ganzouri with Hosni Mubarak in 1997.

Egypt moved a step closer to forming a new government on December 1, as Prime Minister Kamal Ganzouri submitted his cabinet nominations to the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF).

Read More

Prime Minister Ganzouri with Field Marshal Tantawi

Following reports that the Freedom and Justice Party and Salafi Nour Party won around 40 and 20 percent of the vote, respectively, the FJP’s secretary general Saad al-Katatny issued a statement denying an “alleged alliance” with the Salafis to form an Islamist government.  Prime Minister Kamal Ganzouri is expected to announce the members of his new cabinet on December 3, and early reports indicate that he will retain as many as ten ministers from Sharaf’s government including two holdovers from Mubarak’s regime.

PROTESTS:

1) Thousands of protesters returned to Tahrir Square to commemorate the martyrs of the revolution and demand an end to military rule on December 2. The April 6 Youth Movement called for the formation of a revolutionary salvation government, saying the ruling military council’s appointment of Kamal El-Ganzoury as prime minister is undermining the revolution’s objectives.  Meanwhile, a few hundred pro-SCAF protesters staged a rally across town in Abbassiya Square supporting the military and denouncing Mohamed ElBaradei and the April 6 Youth Movement.  [al-Ahram, English, 12/2/2011] [al-Shorouk, Arabic, 12/2/2011]

ELECTIONS:

2) Following reports that the Freedom and Justice Party and Salafi Nour Party won around 40 and 20 percent of the vote, respectively, the FJP’s secretary general Saad al-Katatny issued a statement denying an “alleged alliance” with the Salafis and insisting that it is only coordinating with the Democratic Alliance, comprising 11 parties.  [Ikhwanweb, English, 12/2/2011]  [al-Ahram, Arabic, 12/1/2011]

3) Preliminary results indicate that the Freedom and Justice Party received almost 40 percent of the vote, followed by the Salafi parties with at least 20 percent (official results were expected on December 2). These figures suggest that Islamist parties may fill as many as 120 of the 168 seats contested in the first stage of elections. The liberal-oriented Egyptian Bloc, dominated by the Free Egyptians Party, the Social Democratic Party, and Tagammu’, is in third place. Early results also indicate that voters showed a bias in favor of familiar former parliamentarians over a new generation of younger candidates associated with the revolution. Several Mubarak-era MPs from the Brotherhood, Wafd, and NDP won seats in the first round and several more have moved on to the runoff round scheduled for December 5.  Prominent activists George Ishak (founder of Kefaya) and Gamila Ismail (ex-wife of Ayman Nour) lost in Port Said and Cairo, respectively. However, some candidates associated with the revolution, including Amr Hamzawy, won seats, and others -- Mostafa El-Naggar, chairman of the centrist Adl (Justice) Party and reformist judge Mahmoud El-Khodeiri – will compete in the runoff round. Although many observers expected the Wafd to perform well, the party suffered major losses. [al-Ahram, English, 12/2/2011]

4) Unofficial statistics suggest that voter turnout may have reached 70 percent in the first round, compared to an official turnout rate of 23 percent in the 2005 parliamentary elections. (Actual turnout was believed to be even lower in 2005). [al-Ahram, English, 12/2/2011]  

5) The Brotherhood’s FJP has 43 candidates advancing to the runoff round on December 5 in Cairo, competing against candidates from the Salafi Nour Party, the Egyptian Bloc, and the centrist Adl Party in Cairo, Alexandria, Kafr al-Sheikh, Damietta, Fayoum, Luxor, Assiyut, and the Red Sea. [al-Masry al-Youm, Arabic, 12/2/2011]

NEW GOVERNMENT:

6) Prime Minister Kamal Ganzouri submitted his cabinet nominations to the SCAF on December 1. Ganzouri is not expected to announce the members of his new cabinet until December 3, pending the SCAF’s approval, but early reports indicate that he will retain as many as ten ministers from Sharaf’s government including two holdovers from Mubarak’s regime, Minister of International Cooperation Fayza Aboul Naga and Electricity Minister Hassan Younis. One of the few ministers who was not asked to stay on is Finance Minister Hazem al-Beblawi, who will be replaced by Ganzouri himself. Egyptian media speculated that Major General Mohamed Ibrahim was a front-runner for the Interior Ministry post, despite the fact that human rights activists and protesters are demanding that the ministry be radically restructured under civilian leadership. Ibrahim has been accused of “massacring” Sudanese refugees as Giza’s security director during the tenure of Mubarak’s former Interior Minister Habib al-Adly. The fact that several leading public figures under consideration for ministerial portfolios have declined the posts does not bode well for the Ganzouri government’s legitimacy. Prominent journalists Adel Hammouda and Magdy al-Gallad both declined the Information Ministry post, while actor Mohamed Sobhy rejected an offer to lead the Ministry of Culture.  [EgyptSource, English, 12/1/2011] [al-Ahram, English, 12/2/2011] [al-Masry al-Youm, Arabic, 12/2/2011]

7) The SCAF is expected to announce the formation of an “advisory council” shortly that will assist the military in administering the remainder of the transitional period until a new president is elected. The proposed council, intended to function as a “buffer zone” to prevent “misunderstandings” between the public and the armed forces, would consist of 30 representatives of political force including youth groups. The council would also have the authority to “advise” the SCAF on proposed laws or regulations. [al-Ahram, English, 12/2/2011]

U.S. POLICY:

8) Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) published an op-ed in Politico calling for conditioning military aid to Egypt on “Egypt should be conditioned on the holding of free and fair elections; an end of the abuse of emergency rule; and respect for due process and fundamental freedoms.” These conditions are included in the new Senate appropriations bill, but not the House version, although both drafts request the same level of funding, $1.3 billion, for the Egyptian military. [Politico, English, 12/2/2011]

9) The US embassy in Cairo appeared to sharpen its criticism of the military on December 1, warning that future exports of US-made teargas could be suspended if Egyptian authorities continue to use it to cause death and injury. Earlier this week, State Department spokesman Mark Toner defended the shipment of tear gas to the Egyptian government, saying that Washington has not seen “any real concrete proof that the Egyptian authorities were misusing tear gas.” Under Mubarak's regime in 2009, the US government authorized permanent export licenses for $101 million in defense sales to Egypt, including 33,770 units of 'tear gases and riot control agents," Jack Shenker reported [The Guardian, English, 12/1/2011] [State Department, English, 11/29/2011]

Photo Credit: Reuters

American-made tear gas

The US embassy in Cairo appeared to sharpen its criticism of the military on December 1, warning that future exports of US-made teargas could be suspended if Egyptian authorities continue to use it to cause death and injury. The Guardian's live blog reports:

"The warning comes after it emerged that the Egyptian ministry of interior had ordered 21 tonnes of teargas from the US following days of street clashes between revolutionaries and security forces in which countless gas canisters - the majority of them American-made - were launched at civilians, causing serious injuries.

Under Mubarak's regime in 2009, the US government authorized permanent export licences for $101 million in defense sales to Egypt, including 33,770 units of 'tear gases and riot control agents," Jack Shenker reported.  Ones hopes that Egypt's next government will be in the business of protecting human rights, rather than policing its own citizens.

Photo Credit: Charles Onians

Freedom and Justice Party supporter

Early election results indicated that Islamist parties are on track to win a dominant majority in the next People’s Assembly. The Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) appears to have won 40 percent of the vote, while Salafis may have claimed up to 25 percent of the vote, giving the two groups combined control of nearly 65 percent of the seats.

PROTESTS:

1) 23 parties and movements including the April 6 Youth Movement and Maspero Coalition are backing a rally in Tahrir Square planned for December 2 to honor the victims of recent clashes. The presidential campaigns of Mohamed ElBaradei and Hamdeen Sabahi announced their participation in the demonstration.  [al-Ahram, English, 12/1/2011] [al-Shorouk, Arabic, 12/1/2011]

ELECTIONS:

2) The official announcement of final election results has been postponed until December 2, due to delays in the counting of ballots. [al-Masry al-Youm, English, 12/1/2011]

3) Early election results indicated that Islamist parties are on track to win a dominant majority in the next People’s Assembly. The Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) appears to have won 40 percent of the vote, while Salafis may have claimed up to 25 percent of the vote, giving the two groups combined control of nearly 65 percent of the seats. (The precise allocation of seats will not be determined until after the third round of voting in January 2012). Islamist candidates performed surprisingly well in urban voting districts like Cairo and Alexandria, where liberal political forces have their strongest constituencies, suggesting that the FJP and Salafi Nour Parties could make an even stronger showing in subsequent rounds of voting in some of the more rural, conservative districts viewed as Islamist strongholds. [New York Times, English, 12/1/2011] [al-Ahram, English, 12/1/2011]

4) The National Democratic Institute’s preliminary statement on the first round of elections was a largely positive assessment: “Defying expectations, large numbers of voters and two largely peaceful days of balloting provided a promising beginning to a three round voting process and gave rise to the possibility of an election that reflects the will of the people.”  However, the report did note several irregularities, including illegal campaigning on the election days and delayed opening of polling stations, and made a number of recommendations for the second round, including clarified procedures for ballot counting; procedural instructions for the sealing and storage of ballot boxes; and considering the establishment of a 30-meter “campaign-free perimeter” around polling stations. [NDI, English, 11/30/2011]

5) Voters will return to the polls on Monday, December 5 for a run-off round to determine results for contests in which no candidate won 50 percent of the vote. Some of the run-off races will see intense competition between Islamist and liberal candidates. The FJP and Salafi Nour Party are reportedly using religious propaganda in Nasser City to back the Islamist candidate Mohamed Yousry against Mostafa al-Nagar, a member of the centrist Adl Party running as part of the liberal-oriented Egyptian Bloc. The Islamist parties are distributing leaflets describing al-Nagar as “the Church’s candidate.” [al-Youm al-Saba’a, Arabic, 12/1/2011]

6) Coordinator of the FJP-led Democratic Alliance, Wahid Abdel Meguid, estimated that the Alliance won 41 percent of the parliamentary seats after the first round and projected that the proportion will increase to 45 percent after the third round of voting in January. Meguid said he was surprised by the success of the Salafi Nour Party, which won at least 20 percent of the seats, exceeding the expectations of its own party leaders, who predicted winning only 10-15 percent. Meguid ruled out future cooperation with the Nour Party for individual seats. [al-Masry al-Youm, Arabic, 12/1/2011]

NEW GOVERNMENT:

7) On December 1, the Freedom and Justice Party appeared to back down from Mohamed Morsi’s earlier statement insisting that the next parliamentary majority should be empowered to form a coalition government. In an official statement, the FJP said it is still “too early” to discuss the next parliament and said that the first priority for now should be promoting “cooperation between all forces and helping the country move from a transitional stage toward the establishment of new institutions.” The statement added, “The composition of parliament and the parliamentary alliances is tied to the final results of the third stage (of elections) which will reveal a balanced parliament that reflects all segments of society.” [al-Masry al-Youm, Arabic, 12/1/2011]

8) Mohamed Saad Katatny, head of the Brotherhood’s FJP, said that the next parliament will have the task of forming a government and drafting Egypt’s new constitution. “The committee to formulate the constitution should be representative of all political trends and include men of religion,” Katatny said, adding that the committee “cannot be tied to the parliamentary majority.” [al-Shorouk, Arabic, 11/30/2011]

9) Prime Minister Kamal Ganzouri has concluded a series of meetings with candidates for ministerial portfolios and is expected to announce the members of the new cabinet on the evening of December 1. Finance Minister Hazem al-Beblawi said he has not yet been asked to stay on in the new cabinet. Adel Abdel Hamid, former head of the Court of Cassation, is being considered for the post of minister of justice; Galam al-Araby is a candidate for minister of education; and Major General Mohamed is a candidate for interior minister. In recent months, some protest groups have demanded that a civilian be appointed lead the Interior Ministry. [al-Shorouk, Arabic, 12/1/2011] [The Daily News Egypt, English, 11/30/2011] [al-Masry al-Youm, Arabic, 12/1/2011]

10) Prime Minister Kamal Ganzouri announced that he will appoint a civilian minister of civil aviation, after pilots threatened to close Egyptian airspace if Ganzouri chose a military official for the post. In addition, Ganzouri promised to create a Ministry of Revolution’s Martyrs Affairs. Ganzouri is expected to retain between five and seven ministers from Sharaf’s cabinet, and several prominent figures have reportedly declined appointments in the new government, including journalists Adel Hammouda and Magdy al-Galad, who were being considered for the post of Information Minister. [al-Ahram, English, 12/1/2011]

U.S. POLICY:

11) Secretary of State Hillary Clinton issued a statement on December 1 congratulating Egyptians on “a peaceful, successful start to their election process.” “The American people will continue to stand by the people of Egypt as they move toward a democratically elected civilian government that respects universal human rights and will meet their aspirations for dignity, freedom, and a better life,” Clinton said. [State Department, English, 12/1/2011]

ECONOMY:

12) A military official, Mahmoud Nasr, estimated that Egypt’s foreign reserves will plummet by a third to US $15 billion by the end of January. Nasr acknowledged that one of the solutions to the growing deficit would be “reviewing subsidies, particularly petrol subsidies.” At the same time, the government continues to resist international assistance. “We prefer not to borrow money from abroad. The loans come with strings attached that undermine state sovereignty,” Nasr said. [al-Masry al-Youm, English, 12/1/2011]

Photo Credit: Reuters

Egyptian woman voter

Partial results for single-winner races are being released today, with additional results expected after a run-off round on Monday, December 5. The Freedom and Justice Party issued a statement claiming that the FJP-led Democratic Alliance is leading the proportional representation races, followed by the Salafi Nour Party and the liberal-oriented Egyptian Bloc in third place. The FJP also asserted that the majority in the next People’s Assembly should have the authority to form a new government.  

Read More

Crowd in Tahrir Square

Late last night, clashes erupted between protesters and street vendors in Tahrir during which approximately 80 people were wounded. By the end of these skirmishes, the protesters had forced the vendors out of the square against the backdrop of calls saying, "The people want the cleansing of Tahrir!"

For the protesters, street vendors have been a thorn in their side, causing problems ranging from increased trash in the streets to starting fights and smuggling weapons into the square. Most protesters believe that some vendors have also received payments from the interior ministry to report on the activities in Tahrir and wait to receive orders to stir up trouble. Organizers in Tahrir have felt their presence taints the reputation of the revolution and decided in a meeting yesterday to form a community police force to expel them from the square.

Community police stand off to the side as a man in Tahrir Square breaks a rock to throw.



At 6 p.m., a group of nearly sixty lined themselves up and marched around Tahrir, led by protest organizers who stopped to ask vendors to leave. In an effort to remain fair, they told the vendors that they were welcome to return as protesters but their wares must remain outside. Observers expressed discomfort with the military-style display of force. Vendors felt intimidated and shouting matches between them and protesters raised concern. Organizers, however, continued to march their team after warning the vendors of the consequences of staying.

A few hours later, another patrol began with the community police force now dressed in orange vests and bearing large sticks. At one point the organizers lost control of their men when someone yelled, "Fight!" Full scale beatings broke out all around the square with any vendor who resisted. The "officers" also berated and intimidated observers who tried to take picture or film the crackdown. One protester threw a camera onto the floor and stepped on it. The entire scene seemed eerily similar to past incidents in which protesters have suffered abuse at the hands of state security officers.

The clashes finally dissipated, giving rise to the cheers and revolutionary chants heard around the square for the past ten days. But the dirty taste it left in their mouths seemed obvious as debates, rationalizations, and excuses could be heard within a number of groups trying to justify the dubious methods used to empty the square. After decades of mistreatment by state security, violence to maintain order seems to have become hard-wired in the Egyptian psyche. One can only hope that the change in the political atmosphere will help heal some of the psychological damage that contributed to last night's scene.

Tarek Radwan is an Egyptian human rights activist specializing in international law and conflict resolution. He has worked for Human Rights Watch's MENA division and the United Nations mission (UNAMID) in Darfur as a Human Rights Officer. He currently provides consulting services on civilian protection and Middle East issues.

Photo Credit: Tarek Radwan