Egypt: Why 'the b*****ds' didn't show up to vote

Egypt: Why 'the b*****ds' didn't show up to vote
Comment: Wael Kandil explains the tiny turnout in the first phase of Egypt's legislative elections, and analyses officials' hysterical reaction.
4 min read
20 Oct, 2015
Egyptian voters shunned the first phase of the parliamentary election held Sunday and Monday [AFP]
The problem was not the low turnout for the vote to build Abdel Fattah al-Sisi's new parliament.

Low turnout has always been the case in Egypt, with the only recent exception perhaps being the polls that immediately followed the January 2011 revolution.

At the time, throngs of citizens braced the storms and showed up to cast their vote on the constitutional amendments in March 2011.

The same happened again with the general election in 2012 and the presidential election that followed.

No, the real problem is that politics in Egypt are dead, murdered by Sisi on June 30, 2013, when he destroyed the notion of respecting the will of the voter - the only measure of which is at the ballot box.

Instead, Sisi established a new notion for what he terms the popular will, fabricated and shaped by media brainwashing and fearmongering. This has made it easy to blackmail, mislead and manipulate the masses.
     Sisi convinced Egyptians to get rid of their civilian democratically elected president... The rest is history

Sisi killed politics by carrying out the biggest feat of deception in Egyptian history, when he called on Egyptians to burn the crops of their nascent democracy, promising to help them be sown anew.

Sisi convinced Egyptians to get rid of their civilian democratically elected president, claiming he had lost his legitimacy through his conduct, while promising them another civilian president would be elected - and claiming he himself had no ambitions to rule.

The rest is history: Sisi took power through a farcical election, for which Hamdeen Sabahi was summoned to play the part of "extra".

Accordingly we can consider the legislative election, the first phase of which was held over the past two days, to be the first real political test for Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and his regime, after two years or more of such electoral farces.

But because the Egyptians have since realised that there can be no political life under Sisi, they shunned this latest trick that he was trying to play on the outside world.

Indeed, the man needed to complete what is left of the fraud - disguised as his roadmap for the future - and tell the outside world he completed the third part of his homework.

This is the purpose of the election for Sisi, who does not need or care about having a functioning legislative branch.

Turning against the citizens

Now, the Sisi regime is reacting hysterically to the Egyptians' boycott of his repetitive, ridiculous game.

The best the regime could come up with was accusing the people of "ignorance" and "lack of patriotism" for not turning out to endorse Sisi's scheme at the ballot box.

Pro-regime media anchors, artists and other figures have said almost explicitly: The Egyptian people do not deserve to live for having betrayed Sisi, their (false) prophet - so they must now suffer and expect dark days ahead.

One of the many pro-Sisi websites posted a video of an elderly man shouting at Egyptians in the streets: "Go and vote, you b*****ds!"

There is little difference between this and what a political writer, daughter of a former culture minister under Sadat and then Mubarak, wrote, claiming Egyptian mothers should be blamed for their sons' failure to vote.

This has been the gist of the pro-Sisi reaction to the low turnout among Egyptians. No one bothered to look for the truth and the real reasons for why "the b*****ds" have boycotted, opposed or ignored the Sisi regime.
     The Sisi media may want to deliberately stress that the legislative elections have failed

They did not ask themselves: Who has killed politics in Egypt?

Yet there could be something yet more sinister at play.

The Sisi media may want to deliberately stress that the legislative elections have failed, to undermine the legitimacy and work of the new parliament before it even convenes.

This way, the new parliament would immediately be in a weak position, unable to exercise its role, having been elected by fewer than ten percent of eligible Egyptian voters.

The future might prove this hypothesis right. Yet none of this denies the fact that Egyptians have dealt a resounding blow to those who killed politics and democracy, and those who treated them as "b*****ds" that might be conditioned using cynical Pavlovian methods.

Wael Kandil is editor-in-chief of al-Araby al-Jadeed's Arabic edition. Follow him on Twitter: @waiel65

This article is an edited translation from our Arabic edition.

Opinions expressed in this article remain those of the author, and do not necessarily represent those of al-Araby al Jadeed, its editorial board or staff. This is an edited translation from our Arabic edition.