Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Egyptian Shura Council Elections Masquerade

I was rudely awoken this morning at 9:30... "are you following the news?" I heard... the only "news" I could think of, was that I was still reeling from the Israeli massacre on the Gaza flotilla yesterday and editing till 3:30am...

Shortly thereafter I found myself in a taxi heading to Nadeem Center to meet up with Haitham to follow the chaos of Egyptian elections for the Council of Ministers. Personally, I have no experience in life that has made me have any in faith in electoral processes.

My taxi driver- 62 years old- told me he didn't have an election ID, nor did he ever have one, nor has he ever known anyone who has an election ID- and he has many relatives, five brothers and over 50 nephews- except for one: a brother-in-law, but he died.

So I ended up in Helwan and this is what I saw:

These voters tried to storm the polling station because they were prevented from voting.

When people asked for the rules, it turns out security were in the wrong and everyone there is was permitted to vote using their nation ID:

But it didn't matter. They weren't allowed in anyway.

They made up a new rule that says unless you have the little red card, you don't get in to vote. So in this last station in a district with 12,000 registered voters, only five entered the polling station to cast their vote, all of them NDP members.

This man is saying (paraphrased)... we live in shitty conditions here, our children can't find jobs, if you would see the poverty we live in, we want change, so we came to vote for it...

And so like anybody would these people held a protest:

I am no fan of organized religion, but I would be in that crowd too, did I not believe in elections to begin with.

Change will come from below.

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