The Third Egyptian Republic
General A. Al-Saisi won the Egyptian presidential election on May 26, 2014. According to the Egyptian higher election committee, 47 percent of Egyptian cast their votes.
Mr. A. Al-Saisi received 93 percent of the votes or 24,365,176 votes. Mr. A. Sabahi received 2.9 percent of the votes or 895,149 votes. The rejected votes totaled 4.10 percent or 1,577,840 votes. Nearly 25 million (out of 54 million) eligible Egyptian voters cast their votes.
The election fell short of what the Egyptian mass media continued to project during the seven months prior to the election. The rationale behind the fact that less than 50 percent of the public participated in the election may be attributed to the following.
1. Most of Egypt’s mass media and political analysts confirmed that the election of Mr. Al-Saisi by a huge margin. Repeating this generalization for seven months influenced many people’s political attitudes. As a result, many people reached the conclusion, “Why bother? The general will be elected.”
2. Another factor that may have influenced the low turnout was the high temperatures that exceeded 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Waiting in line for hours in this heat was very difficult for many people.
3. Another factor that may have discouraged people from participating is fear. The Muslim Brotherhood continued to warn the public that they will disrupt the election. Since the removal of Morsi on July 3, 2013, they have been conducting terrorist activities against the government and the public.
4. A significant number of young Egyptians who initiated both the 25th of January 2011, and the 30th of June, 2013, revolutions were marginalized by those who assumed power. Furthermore, many of them were put in prison for violating the protest law.
5. General A. Al-Saisi failed to provide the Egyptian public with his political program. This may have discouraged some Egyptians from participating, especially those who were under the impression that members of the Mubarak regime were close to Al-Saisi.
On the bright side, more than 70 percent of Egyptian women participated in the election with high enthusiasm and joy. They are the heroes of Egypt. Another segment that participated were men over the age of 50, but their percentage is less than that of the women.
Furthermore, more than 4 percent of the cast votes were rejected. It was speculated that these votes were cast by members of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafi religious groups to cast doubt on the election.
Nevertheless, the election was more democratic and transparent than any previous election in the history of Egypt.