Egypt Presidential Election Results: Ahmed Shafiq Loses, Along With Democracy

Egyptians began voting June 16th for a new president. To see a recap via social media follow #EgyptDecides on Twitter, or follow the Voice of America stream, #EgyptDecides: Election Drama Unfolds on Social Media

Voice of America highlighted low voter turnout, which some attribute to high temperatures. However, low voter turnout may suggest a boycott by some.

As the Los Angeles Times reports, there is a fear the election will not bring a new democracy, “Much is uncertain about the country's fate: A high court last week dissolved the Islamic-dominated parliament, no constitution has been drafted to outline presidential powers, and the army and police intensified patrols and checkpoints across the capital and other cities.”

As Dina El Garf is quoted by the LA Times, "I am voting today for Morsi, but I know the results." She said that the military "will never let Morsi win. I know it will be the military's choice and that is Shafik. A lot of people did not come out to vote today for this reason."

While Tunisia has had a “relatively smooth transition to stability,” it was not without voter campaigns to educate the public about the importance of voting such as “The Return of Ben Ali” video which went viral and contributed to an increased voter turnout in Tunisia.

As Jeffrey Fleishman and Reem Abdellatif write, “The day felt like an eerie playback of the indifference that used to settle over voting lines during the repressive days of Mubarak.” Neither candidate “symbolizes the spirit of the uprising; their campaigns do not excite liberals, activists and progressive Islamists hoping for a rallying voice to rise from the ‘Arab Spring.’” 

Despite the differing opinions, the practice of democracy will take time. As long as someone is elected, and they step down when their term is completed, Egypt will be on the road to democracy.

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Lakshmi Sarah

Born and raised in California, Lakshmi is an educator and journalist. With roots in Kochi, Prague and San Francisco she divides her time between the places she feels at home. Over the past few years, Lakshmi has worked with newspapers and magazines from Gaborone, Botswana to Los Angeles, California. Lakshmi has several years of experience working with the National Student Leadership Conference. In 2009 and 2010 she directed the NSLC program on Journalism & Mass Communication at American University in Washington, DC. She is a graduate of Pitzer College in California where she studied Global Communications and Studio Arts. She is currently pursuing her Master's in Journalism, Media and Gobalization in Aarhus, Denmark.

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