Wednesday,19 September, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1267, (22 - 28 October 2015)
Wednesday,19 September, 2018
Issue 1267, (22 - 28 October 2015)

Ahram Weekly


Compiled by Doaa El-Bey

Al-Ahram Weekly

Omar Marawan: A stressful time

With a markedly low voter turnout at the parliamentary elections this week, Omar Marawan, the spokesman for the Higher Elections Committee (HEC), faced a real challenge. In an interview with Al-Akhbar newspaper, he called on voters to respond to the call of their country and participate extensively in the elections. He also called on them to choose the best candidates and acquaint themselves with the rules so as not to void their vote.

Marawan’s interview with Al-Akhbar was the first long interview he gave since being chosen by the HEC as its spokesperson in February. Dubbed Secret Mission Man, during that period, he hardly talked to the media at all. He had already undertaken various secret missions after the 25 January Revolution. He was the secretary-general of the fact finding committees established under SCAF and former president Mohamed Morsi.

He held the same position in a similar committee established after 30 June.

In August, Marawan released a statement disclosing the timetable of the elections, which said that parliament should be in place before 2016.

Since then, the HEC has been busy with arrangements for the elections themselves. In the first round, more than 27 million in 14 governorates were supposed to vote for 103 electoral constituencies.

Marawan paid various visits to Egyptian expats in the last few months to make sure they understood the rules of participation and urge them to participate. However, the low turnout inside the country and the relatively low participation of expats has put pressure on Marawan and he is expected to exert more efforts to encourage voters inside and outside the country to take part as of now. 

“Egyptians have participated [in the elections] and realised that their vote can make a difference. They will never accept to be spectators again. How can they be passive again when they have repeatedly heard the president saying that their vote can topple a president? Should we waste this opportunity or make it a corner stone for sounder political participation?”
Ibn Al-Dawla, Al-Youm Al-Sabei

Congrats Egypt

“Egypt winning the UNSC’s non-permanent seat with 179 votes out of 193 is, without a doubt, a political victory for the Foreign Ministry. Egypt needed only 125 votes to win. Its presence among decision maker states will boost Cairo’s efforts to direct the present policies in Africa, the Arab world and the Middle East in a way that helps to achieve its interests and that of the Arab and African countries.”
Sayed Ghoneim, Al-Akhbar
“Egypt’s triumph has emphasised its international presence and put an end to the state of seclusion that the country faced after the 30 June Revolution and the insistence of some states to call it a coup d’etat.”
Inas Nour, Al-Ahram

The flea and the elephant

“If a certain political group that represents five per cent of the voters managed to mobilise its followers while the others decided to boycott or are too lazy to vote, the former would control up to forty per cent of the parliament and have a strong say in the fate of the country. That is, while its size in the street is equivalent to that of a flea it can be an elephant in parliament. That is one of the reasons why I will take part in the elections.”
Moataz Abdel-Fattah, Al-Watan


“I believe that boycotting the elections is not the right approach. Whether you are happy with the elections or unhappy, whether you agree or disagree, you should express your viewpoint via the ballot box so that we can feel we have taken at least one step on the long road to democracy.”
Osama Al-Ghazali Harb, Al-Ahram

Egyptian Essence: 20.7 million youth in poverty

“The Chairman of the Central Agency for Public Mobilisation and Statistics Abu Bakr Al-Guindi said that the number of Egyptian youth who suffer from poverty reached 20.7 million in the age group from 18 to 29 years, which presents 24.1 per cent. He also pointed out that the poverty rate among children reached 28.8 which is the highest among all age groups. That rate witnessed a gradual increase from 2000 to 2013.”


“The parliamentary elections are like Egypt’s national team playing before the whole world. But you keep forgetting you have banned onlookers from taking part in the game.”
Wael Sedhom

“What happened today [Sunday] to the pound against the dollar and to the voting boxes against the voters deserves a banner headline similar to that which appeared on the morning of 26 January 2011: ‘A warning’. The problem was that Mubarak could not read the headline!”
Hazem Hosny


Mada Masr @MadaMasr  
#EgyElections update: Voter turnout remains low, number of female voters four times that of male ones.

Zeinobia @Zeinobia  
Parliamentary #elections #2015 Day 1: Where are the voters !?

Ekram Ibrahim @ekramibrahim  
#Egypt: more elections, less willing to engage. Bigger promises, less trust.

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