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Rantings of a Sandmonkey

Be forewarned: The writer of this blog is an extremely cynical, snarky, pro-US, secular, libertarian, disgruntled sandmonkey. If this is your cup of tea, please enjoy your stay here. If not, please sod off

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

The Bad Joke that is the Egyptian Election

When I saw this news article I almost fell on the floor laughing. Police have been ordered to exercise "maximum self-restraint" during Egypt's first contested presidential campaign and to prevent a repeat of attacks against opposition protesters, reformist Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif said Monday. LOL. Ok, hold on, what does it say about our Police when they are asked to "exercise maximum self-restraint"? Huh? Can someone tell me? Because, to me, it sounds like they are admitting that police brutality is the norm here, and that they are asking them to hold off on it until the elections is over. "After that , feel free not to exercise maximum self-restraint boys. Beat the shit out of anyone you want." Ohh, and it gets better.. Nazif acknowledged there had been scattered violence and "a few incidents in tens of thousands of poll stations" during the May 25 referendum on constitutional amendments to allow the multicandidate vote. "What I can assure you is that all this happened not because the government wanted it," he said. "We didn't really want it, but we didn't really mind it either, as you can see by the fact that not a single arrest has been made in those incidents, despite the existnace of pictures and videos showing the faces of the perpetrators and the police officers that allowed them to not excercise self-restraint", he said. "And no one can do anything about it. Is this a great country or what?" Ohh, and he rejected again any International monitoring of the elections, because of- I shit you not- sovreignty issues: Nazif again rejected the presence of international monitors during the vote, saying "Egypt is a country that considers its sovereignty at a very high priority." "Monitors in terms of supervising the elections — that won't be accepted, we said that very clearly," he said. Ahh, oh well. It's a good thing that we at least have the Egyptian Judges supervising the elections. You remember them, they issued this report showing that the constitutional ammendment referendum was a sham? Good thing they will be monitoring the elections, they will minimize the foul play, you know? Ohh, wait, this just in: Apparently 1700 Judges were informed yesterday that they will not be allowed to monitor the elections. Those are the same Judges who are demanding Judicial independece, issued the aforemention report and demanded full monitoring and transperancy in the elections. Yeah, they are not allowed to monitor the elections anymore. My dad always said that Democracy in Egypt is joke. Just not , you know, a good joke. I think he is right.


At 8/31/2005 07:32:00 AM, Anonymous Kira Zalan said...

The most important part of this quasi-election are the long-term consequences. Tarek Atia brilliantly notes that the election logo that has become “a permanent fixture on [national] channels… may change things. Intentional or not, the flag immediately attracts young children. “What is that?” they ask their parents. The typical response would probably be much like what Kamelia Hamed told her son when he asked, that the flag is part of the election campaign, which is a process by which the public chooses their leader from among several candidates.

In that simple exchange, a revolution of sorts has already occurred.

At 12/06/2005 10:50:00 AM, Anonymous Claudio Champine said...

Enjoyed reading your posts.


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