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Foreign Coverage Paints Gloomy Picture of Egypt’s Elections

October 20, 2015
An Egyptian woman casts her ballot paper during the second day of presidential elections at a polling station in Heliopolis, 2014. Credit: EPA/KHALED ELFIQI

By Aswat Masriya A “meaningless” election featuring a “low turnout” signalled the beginning of an Arab Winter and prompted “sarcasm and mockery,” international media outlets said of Egypt’s legislative elections, just as authorities accused them of attempting to tarnish the country’s image. Egyptians have voted inside Egypt and abroad from Saturday to Monday, in the first of two phases which end in November. The New York Times said there was “never much suspense” about the elections, noting that the voting system put in place by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi “seemed designed to virtually eliminate policy debate or ideological competition.” The Times added that “most of the candidates are local notables without known ideologies or platforms.” Similar to the Time’s take on the elections, Bloomberg View proposed that the, “the election is structurally identical to the sorry affairs in dictatorships before the Arab Spring” explaining that “the point of the vote is simply to show that the government can engage in the charade of democracy.” Egypt’s “meaningless” elections “set the scene perfectly” for an Arab Winter, Noah Feldman wrote. However, the Egyptian government was quick to defend the poll and the political scene surrounding…

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