To Vote or Not to Vote:
Egypt’s Diverse Electorate

A discussion featuring:
Sarah El Sirgany 
Nonresident Fellow, Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East
Atlantic Council

Sahar F. Aziz
Associate Professor of Law
Texas A&M University 

Reem Awny Abu-Zaid (via videoconference)
Project Officer
The Danish Egyptian Dialogue Institute

Moderated by:
Mirette F. Mabrouk
Deputy Director, Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East
Atlantic Council

User-added image

Egyptians have gone to the polls eight times since the 2011 uprising. The latest round of polling, set to begin on March 22, was delayed by a Supreme Constitutional Court committee ruling on the constitutionality of the election law. Voter turnout and enthusiasm has ebbed and flowed but coverage of Egypt’s voters has often painted voters with a broad brush, categorizing the electorate as a heterogeneous mass. In reality, the electorate comprises complex and widely varying subsections of voters with differing political affiliations, motivations, and enthusiasm. How will political parties tackle the challenge of engaging voters and exploiting the motivations of different factions? At a time when economic and security challenges are of most concern to Egyptians, how will parties tackle an apparent decline in interest in the political process and manage to motivate voters and address their concerns?

Please join us for a discussion of these and other questions on Egypt’s electorate ahead of the country’s parliamentary elections. Hariri Center Nonresident Fellow Sarah El-Sirgany will preview her forthcoming issue brief on Egypt’s diverse electorate. Reem Awny Abu-Zaid will explain how Egypt’s current political climate might affect voting behavior and Sahar Aziz will discuss the legal ramifications of the elections law. 

Sarah El Sirgany is a Cairo-based journalist and television producer, contributing to regional and international publications and networks including CNN, the New York Times, Al-Monitor, and Mada Masr. Reem Awny Abu-Zaid manages the “Egypt and Elections” project at the Danish Egyptian Dialogue Institute. Sahar F. Aziz is President of the Egyptian American Rule of Law Association. 

DATE:         Tuesday, March 31, 2015

TIME:        12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. 
A light lunch will be served. 

LOCATION:     Atlantic Council
1030 15th St NW, 10th floor
Washington, DC 20005