Don’t Ignore Electoral Fraud in Egypt

January 24, 2012 12:01 am 0 comments

Former IAEA Director Mohamed El Baradei. Photo: wiki commons.

When Egypt’s Lower House convened on Jan. 23, Islamists held 360 out of its 498 seats, or 72 percent. This astounding figure, however, reflects less the country’s public opinion than it does a ploy by the ruling military leadership to remain in power.

In a recent article (“Egypt’s Sham Election,” Dec. 6) we argued that just as Anwar El-Sadat and Hosni Mubarak in the past “tactically empowered Islamists as a foil to gain Western support, arms, and money,” so do Mohamed Tantawi and his Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) “still play this tired old game.”

We offered three proofs for this assertion: (1) local electoral deceits; (2) the SCAF offer of a “deal” to the Islamists; and (3) the military having subsidized Islamist political parties. Seven weeks later, various signs point to fraud on a far grander scale.

The Free Egyptians Party, Egypt’s leading classic liberal political party, announced on Jan. 10 that it had filed more than 500 complaints about Lower House elections “but no legal action was taken” in response. The party pulled out of forthcoming Upper House elections because “violators are awarded with electoral gains and those abiding by the laws are punished” and called for their cancelation.

Mohamed ElBaradei, former director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) withdrew his candidacy for president on Jan. 14 because of his perception of rigged elections: “My conscience,” he announced, “does not permit me to run for the presidency or any other official position unless it is within a real democratic system.”

Six parliamentary candidates filed official complaints against a range of officials and demanded that the elections be annulled and redone, reports the newspaper El-Badil in its Jan. 10 edition. One of the candidates, a Wafd Party candidate named Ibrahim Kamel, explained how he acquired government documents indicating that fewer than 40 million Egyptians were eligible to vote, while the current elections included 52 million voters, implying 12 million fraudulent ballots. This increase was achieved, he said, by taking the names and identification numbers of legitimate voters and duplicating them between 2 and 32 times in other electoral precincts.

Mamdouh Hamza, head of the Egyptian National Council, an NGO, confirmed this tampering to El-Badil, dubbing it “the biggest crime of fraud in Egyptian history.” He demanded that the Lower House elections be redone from scratch.

In contrast, the victorious Islamists, who despise democracy, made little effort to conceal their electoral success through fraud. Some of them went so far as proudly and unapologetically to assert that it’s their Islamic duty to be dishonest. Tal’at Zahran, a leading Salafi, called the democratic system “infidel,” “criminal,” and “out of the Elders of Zion.” He cynically observed that “it is our duty to forge elections; God will reward us for this.”

Revealingly, Zahran also praised Tantawi: “Just as we gave Mubarak the bay’a [Islamic oath of loyalty], we now support SCAF. If Tantawi decides to stay in power, we will support him until the day he dies.” Reports indicate that Islamists and the military are working smoothly together on such key matters as military autonomy and amending the 1971 constitution. Their cooperation makes sense, for Islamists seek Muslim unity so as to focus full attention on the infidel enemy (especially Jews and Christians).

With so much evidence of fraud at hand, it bewilders us that Western politicians, journalists, and scholars continue to see the shoddy results of the just-concluded Egyptian elections as a valid expression of popular will. Where are the cynical journalists casting doubt on the Salafis coming from nowhere to win 28 percent of the vote? Why do hard-boiled analysts, who see right through rigged elections in Russia and Syria, fall for “the biggest crime of fraud in Egyptian history”? Perhaps because they give Cairo a break on account of it having cooperated with Western powers for nearly 40 years; or perhaps because Tantawi rigs more convincingly.

Given SCAF’s explicit disdain for the election results, we are also surprised that analysts expect these significantly to bear on the country’s future. In fact, SCAF manipulated the recent elections for its own benefit; Islamists are pawns in this drama, not kings. We are witnessing not an ideological revolution but a military officer corps staying dominant to enjoy the sweet fruits of tyranny.

Mr. Pipes (DanielPipes.org) is president of the Middle East Forum and Taube fellow at the Hoover Institution. Ms Farahat (CynthiaFarahat.com) is an Egyptian activist and co-author of a book about the Tahrir Square protests.

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Book Reviews Personalities How a Jewish Leader With 3 Months to Live Created a ‘Seminar’ on Life

    How a Jewish Leader With 3 Months to Live Created a ‘Seminar’ on Life

    JNS.org – What would you do if you found out that you had only three more months to live? Gordon Zacks was a successful businessman, a leader of Jewish life, and a confidante and adviser to President George H.W. Bush. He knew that he had prostate cancer, but doctors advised him that it was very slow-growing and nothing to worry about. Then came the day when the doctors told him his cancer metastasized to his liver, and that he had [...]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Theater 10 Things I Learned From My Play About Holocaust Denial

    10 Things I Learned From My Play About Holocaust Denial

    Last month, my one-man show Hoaxocaust! Written and performed by Barry Levey with the generous assistance of the Institute for Political and International Studies, Tehran ran in the New York International Fringe Festival, where it won an Overall Excellence Award. The play has now been selected to run in the Fringe Encores Series at Baruch College’s Performing Arts Center, for four performances which started on Thursday, September 11. Getting the play to the stage was not easy, however. Here are [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Israel Israeli Music Producer Racks Up Over 535,000 YouTube Hits – in Two Days

    Israeli Music Producer Racks Up Over 535,000 YouTube Hits – in Two Days

    Phenomenon: Tel Aviv-based musician and “sampler” extraordinaire, Kutiman (aka Ophir Kutiel) has hit another one out of the park with “Give It Up,” a fully-functioning song in its own right, assembled from hundreds of ameteur and instructional music videos. The Jerusalem-born musical prodigy is best know for his diverse online musical projects. In the latest video, uploaded to YouTube on Sept. 12th, Kutiel thanked most of the musicians and individuals he chose to include in the meticulously-edited clip, which opens with [...]

    Read more →
  • Theater US & Canada Behind-the-Scenes Reel of Ridley Scott’s Moses Epic Shows Scenes Using 4000 Extras (VIDEO)

    Behind-the-Scenes Reel of Ridley Scott’s Moses Epic Shows Scenes Using 4000 Extras (VIDEO)

    A recently released behind-the-scenes reel of Ridley Scott’s upcoming film Exodus: Gods and Kings shows just how far the director has gone to portray one of the Bible’s most famous narratives. In the clip, which shows scenes involving up to 4,000 extras, the visionary director discusses what drew him to the biblical tale of Moses. “The Moses story was a massive challenge, which I really love. I wanted to explore the complexity of his character and I was stunned by [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Jewish Identity Turner Classic Movies Showcases ‘Broad Sweep’ of the Jewish Experience on Film

    Turner Classic Movies Showcases ‘Broad Sweep’ of the Jewish Experience on Film

    JNS.org – Since 2006, the Turner Classic Movies (TCM) cable and satellite TV network has hosted “The Projected Image,” a month-long showcase examining how different cultural and ethnic groups have been portrayed on the big screen. At last, after previously covering African Americans, Asians, the LGBT community, Latinos, Native Americans, Arabs, and people with disabilities, the annual series is delving into Jewish film this month. “The Projected Image: The Jewish Experience on Film,” whose first segment aired Sept. 2, runs [...]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Jewish Identity An Inside Look at the Hasidim (REVIEW)

    An Inside Look at the Hasidim (REVIEW)

    The sight of young girls in pinafores and young boys wearing peyos – sidelocks – dangling over their ears is a sure sign that you have entered the enigmatic precincts of the Hasidim – the pious ones. Veteran New York Times journalist Joseph Berger’s new book, THE PIOUS ONES: The World of Hasidim and their Battles with America, takes the reader on a journey into the enclaves where various sects of Jews live a seemingly outmoded way of life in [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Jewish Identity How Jewish Television Pioneer Milton Berle Inspired Modern Comedy Stars

    How Jewish Television Pioneer Milton Berle Inspired Modern Comedy Stars

    JNS.org – Today’s comedy superstars, especially those whose careers are driven by television, may very well owe their success to pioneering Jewish entertainer Milton Berle. Born Mendel Berlinger in Manhattan in 1908, Berle became America’s first small-screen star. Aptly nicknamed “Mr. Television,” he influenced and helped promote the work of hundreds of younger comics. “Milton Berle was deceptively successful and very Jewish,” says Lawrence Epstein, author of The Haunted Smile: The Story of Jewish Comedians in America, published the year [...]

    Read more →
  • Jewish Identity Sports Jewish ‘Hoops Whisperer’ a Secret Weapon for NBA Stars

    Jewish ‘Hoops Whisperer’ a Secret Weapon for NBA Stars

    JNS.org – Idan Ravin’s friends chipped in to buy him a humble but life-changing bar mitzvah gift—a basketball hoop his father attached to the roof of his garage. Little did his friends know that years later, he would be the personal trainer of National Basketball Association (NBA) stars Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant, Dwight Howard, and Stephen Curry. Ravin’s new book, “The Hoops Whisperer: On the Court and Inside the Head of Basketball’s Best Players,” details his rise from a Jewish upbringing [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.