Egypt Votes, Ctd

May 23 2012 @ 5:53pm

AtmRsY2CMAEAdBE.jpg-large

Wendell Steavenson reports on today's elections:

Throughout the day, in the long lines that snaked outside the schools that are used as polling stations, there was a patient hope that the lengthy, confused, and often violently riotous transition from Tahrir to a new government would come to a close. In truth, fundamental questions about a new constitution and the role of Sharia and the Army show no signs of being answered.

The men in Boulaq saw the Army as their protector, while many of the Tahrir Twitterati activists boycotted the voting, saying they had no faith in an election conducted under military rule. The ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces has promised another constitutional declaration in the next few days, to explain what powers the President will actually have. A new President will be announced on June 21st, the generals will hand over authority on the first of July. But where the balance of power will lie—between the parliament, the Islamists, the Army, the protestors, and the President—will not be decided only at the polls.

Nathan Brown takes a closer look at possible constitutional declarations:

[T]here are clearly things a complementary declaration should not say. Any matter that gives a protected role for the military or that prejudges issues that should be resolved in the permanent constitution would likely be regarded as illegitimate by most political players. The constitutional declaration is clear: the president assumes full authority on taking office. The SCAF loses its position as acting president. There is to be a "National Defense Council," but it is headed by the president. Of course, the military is likely to continue to enjoy considerable autonomy for some time. But enshrining that into constitutional text is likely to add an element of controversy and instability that Egypt does not need.

An Egyptian reader relays the above photo (via Mohamad TwfiQ on Twitter) and captions:

Ahmed Shafiq, Egyptian presidential candidate and last PM of Egypt during the Mubarak era (with white hair entering the car), is running from a group voters who are trying to hit him with their shoes (a big sign of disrespect in the Arab World) while casting his vote in Cairo today. Shafiq's run was considered by many revolutionaries as an "insult to the revolution", and Parliament quickly issued a law that bans people who served in the last ten years of the Mubarak regime from running for President.

First day of the first round of voting in the Egyptian presidential election saw long lines and voting was extended for two more hours across the country. Tomorrow is the last day of the first round with a run-off scheduled for June 16 and 17. No clear indication on who will win or who will get to the run-off yet.