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Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Talking heads capitalized on their last chance to fixate on the election

As expected, the talking heads reveled in election results last night following the announcement of President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s landslide victory.

Runner-up Moussa Mostafa Moussa did not seem too upset to have finished third in a two-man race and instead took the time to praise voters for turning out. He told Masaa DMC’s Eman El Hosary that securing less than 3% of votes should be considered a “big achievement” considering El Sisi’s popularity. He also vowed that his party, Al Ghad, will become more politically active moving forward (watch, runtime: 16:46).

Unexpectedly high voter turnout rates had many beaming with pride. Hona Al Asema’s Lamees Al Hadidi was particularly pleased that a large number of citizens went out to vote despite the lack of real competition and the general discontent over tough economic reforms. Lamees’ take was that people are giving El Sisi a chance to see the economic reform program through (watch, runtime: 2:34).

Spoiled ballots were highest in Cairo, Giza, Alexandria, Sharqia, and Beheira, electoral affairs researcher Akram El Alfy noted. Egyptian expatriates’ participation rates were lower than in 2014 because many saw the results as a foregone conclusion, he explained, adding that the election as a whole reflected political awareness among the Egyptian populace, something the regime should be wary of (watch, runtime: 47:28).

The media’s role in encouraging voters to head to the polls should not be taken lightly, Cairo University mass communication professors Howaida Mostafa and Hassan Mekkawy told Al Hayah Al Youm’s Khaled Abu Bakr (watch, runtime: 3:07).

People should begin thinking about what they want from El Sisi in his second presidential term now that he has secured another four years in office, Kol Youm’s Amr Adib said (watch, runtime: 44:17). We would hope that people gave these issues some thought before the vote.

Media pundits, MPs want to see a revival of Egypt’s political scene: El Sisi should head into his second presidential term with an open mind and engage with different political figures to get a feel for different political views, Al Shorouk’s Editor-in-Chief Emad El Din Hussein told Lamees. MP Emad Gad concurred that the country’s political atmosphere could stand to see improvement, particularly in terms of allowing political parties greater breathing room to become more active. Lamees and Gad both urged El Sisi to also let bygones be bygones with political prisoners (except for those involved in violent acts) and grant them a presidential pardon (watch, runtime: 14:28).

A cabinet shuffle has yet to be discussed, and it’s all in El Sisi’s hands, anyway, head of parliament’s majority bloc, the Support Egypt Coalition, Mohamed Elsewedy reiterated to Masaa DMC’s Eman El Hosary (watch, runtime: 5:25).

As for introducing constitutional amendments to extend El Sisi’s term in office, Emad El Din Adib said that such a scenario would only happen if it is the will of the people, parliament, and El Sisi himself (watch, runtime: 4:38).

On a separate note, Amr Adib sipped some metaphorical tea to discuss Local Development Minister Abu Bakr El Gendy’s flap with MPs after the minister apparently threatened to beat one of the representatives with a shoe for reporting corruption in municipalities. Adib firmly said that El Gendy should either formally apologize to the House of Representatives or simply put in his resignation (watch, runtime: 5:34).

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