Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Balances and Ladders

Very view observers of the presidential elections outside of Egypt may have noticed the little circles which enclose symbols on the propaganda posters of the candidates. These are not mere adornments or amulets for political prosperity but they do have a very pragmatic function: they are meant to facilitate the participation of the around 25% of citizens who can neither write nor read.

Each candidate was therefore free to choose a symbol to represent his name on the lists at the polling stations. The ones that remain for the second round are the ladder for Ahmad Shafiq and the balance for Muhammad Mursi.  Whereas the former seems to promise an accelerated advance of the country straight up to the sky, the latter claims his capacity to balance the different interest down on earth. However, both options seem to convince neither the Facebook-community nor the graffiti activists who keep expressing their discontent about the election results on diverse levels of artistic accomplishment. Fearless they are attacking the two presidential candidates while sarcastically stating that it will be the last time for a long period...

"The Ladder": Ahmed Shafiq

Were the elections really clean? May they be labeled truly democratic? Is it normal that after a popular revolution, which had been able to overthrow a 30 years old regime, less than 50% of the same angry and now self-confident citizens proceed to the polling stations? Is it fair to force people living in disperse locations of the country back to their place of origin in order to fulfill their duty as citizens of a democratic state? Is it not very likely that the poor employee who is working in Luxor cannot travel all the way back to Cairo (more than 12 hours) in order to deposit his vote? What about the analphabets? Did they truly understand where to sign and were they left to proceed without any outer assistance?

"The Balance": Muhammad Mursi

When the High Council of Armed Forces lifted the state of emergency it seemed to push the country up the ladder and into the democratic heaven. A few days later however, the same ruling institution took hold of the legislative power which un-balanced the classic repartition… Nevertheless, the demonstrators do not want to play this kind of “balances and ladders” which seems to be a loosing game for the revolutionaries. This is the reason why they called for another “milliuniyya” (massive demonstrations) on the Tharir Square tomorrow.