Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Islamists Blame Copts For First Round Election Results In Egypt

AINA reported yesterday that many Egyptians, deeply dissatisfied with the choice for President they have in the upcoming run-off election, are blaming the Christian Copts.  Islamists are blaming the Copts for the fact that Ahmad Shafik, Hosni Mubarak's last Prime Minister, came in high enough to be in the run-off with Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsy. These critics have accused the Copts of being "traitors" and "anti-revolutionary." However, according to AINA, this assessment has been challenged:
Dr Emad Gad, MP and deputy director of Al-Ahram Centre for Strategic Studies, said this campaign against the Copts is a prepared strategy by the Muslim Brotherhood to increase the chances of their candidate in the run-off election, by promoting a lie that votes of the Copts helped Shafik to advance. "This is not true at all. The largest block of votes for Shafik was in the four provinces of the Delta, namely Sharkia, Gharbia, Menoufiah and Dakahila, where the Copts make up only 5% of the total population."
Meanwhile, CNN reports that yesterday several thousand protesters in Tahrir Square urged Egyptian courts to disqualify Shafik. Other protesters broke into Shafik's campaign headquarters and set it on fire. Three of the losing candidates in the first round have filed appeals with the election commission charging fraud. (AP) According to Bloomberg News, many youth groups and secularists who led last year's revolution favor Hamdeen Sabahi, a socialist candidate who came in third in the first round of the election. These activists want Shafik disqualified under a law that took away the political rights of some Mubarak era officials. Others want Morsi to step aside to allow Sabahi to run against Shafik.