The airwaves last night were saturated with coverage of the presidential election, with the focus squarely on voter turnout.
The talking heads called up every diplomat they could get a hold of for the insider scoop on the voting at various embassies and consulates. The turnout apparently had everyone beaming with pride, including ambassadors Yasser Reda from Washington (watch, runtime 6:14), Hisham Badr from Italy (watch, runtime 3:25), Tarek El Kouny from Kuwait (watch, runtime 5:56), Ihab Nasr from Russia, and General Consul Hazem Ramadan from Jeddah (watch, runtime: 5:09). Egypt’s ambassador in London, Nasser Kamel, also proudly said that the atmosphere was not dampened by an attempt by a group of 10-15 Ikhwan supporters to disrupt the process (watch, runtime 5:10). Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid relayed the same sense of happiness with citizens traveling long distances to cast their votes, and downplayed the Ikhwan disruption in London (watch, runtime: 5:57).
The diplomatic corps as a whole declined to provide figures on the voter turnout, repeating in near-unison that the National Elections Commission will release the numbers in due time.
The hosts also burnished their own patriotic credentials on air. Hona Al Asema’s Lamees Al Hadidi lauded Egyptian expatriates for what she described as “impressive” and “historic” turnouts across our embassies abroad, which she said acted as another nail in the Ikhwan’s coffin (watch, runtime 6:27). Kol Youm’s Amr Adib boisterously echoed Lamees and thanked everyone who made their way to a polling station (watch, runtime: 6:51).
Dearth of engineering student in London also in focus: Chatter on the airwaves took a more somber tone as Egypt’s ambassador in London Nasser Kamel discussed the latest developments with the investigation into 18-year-old student Mariam Mostafa’s death. The medical treatment Mostafa received during her hospitalization could play an important role in shaping the legal charges brought against her attackers, Kamel told Lamees on Hona Al Asema. He noted, however, that the identities of Mostafa’s attackers is known but British laws prevent minors from being arrested (watch, runtime: 4:00).
Meanwhile, Kol Youm’s Amr Adib got the latest on the tourism sector’s slow recovery from hotel industry expert Ahmed El Wasif, who said that the ITB Berlin tourism expo offered some reassuring indicators that Red Sea tourism is bouncing back, particularly among German nationals (watch, runtime: 2:30). Blue Sky CEO Hossam El Shaer also saw the expo, which saw Egypt signing the biggest number of agreements since 2011, as a positive omen (watch, runtime: 3:32).
National footballer Mohamed Salah’s super hat-trick occupied whatever airtime each host had left over after covering the elections. See Kol Youm’s Amr Adib (watch, runtime: 2:50), Hona Al Asema’s Lamees al Hadidi (watch, runtime: 1:23) Al Hayah Al Youm’s Khaled Abu Bakr (watch, runtime: 1:13), and DMC’s Eman El Hossary (watch, runtime: 3:39).