Egypt’s two elections, no déjà vu here

Egypt witnessed two similar moments in 2012 and 2014 - the moment the results of presidential elections were announced. Despite the similarity, there’s a huge difference between these two moments, their repercussions and what happened during them.

In 2012, I was with some friends waiting for the election results to come out. The Brotherhood had said it won the elections even before counting the votes was over, and my friends and I were hoping for an opposing result. At the same time, there were threats to burn the country down if the Brotherhood candidate was not declared winner. The Brotherhood went as far as requesting that its members write their wills and pay off their debts. It’s as if they were on the verge of a war against the Egyptians if they weren’t enabled to govern - even if this contradicts with the result the high electoral commission could have announced. We later witnessed these threats and protests when the Egyptians toppled them on June 30.

In 2012, I learnt there was a lot of pressure by foreign parties to declare a result that suits what the Brotherhood wanted. The election results were hijacked before the high electoral commission announced them. Judges affiliated with the Brotherhood announced the Brotherhood’s victory during a press conference and the Brotherhood too held a press conference to announce the victory of its candidate.

In 2012, I learnt there was a lot of pressure by foreign parties to declare a result that suits what the Brotherhood wanted

Abdel Latif el-Menawy

A state of worry and fear overwhelmed the country as people were afraid the Brotherhood would implement its threats. After announcing the results, a state of grief overwhelmed Egypt as it appeared like the country hadtaken a turn for the worst and towards the dark ages.

The victory of Abdel Fattah al-Sisi

The second moment was in 2014 after the high electoral commission announced the victory of Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. Sisi gained a landslide victory. People were overwhelmed with joy and they took to the streets and squares to celebrate though the result was known beforehand due to the preliminary results announced by dailies and satellite channels. However, people’s joy was renewed once the high electoral commission officially announced Sisi as winner. Egyptians felt reassured and felt that their country is on the right path and that they can build their state and achieve the aims of their revolution - the aims of freedom, social justice, dignity and livelihood which Sisi talked about in his brief statement after he was declared winner.

These two phases make us realize that the Egyptian situation has differed. During the first one, the Egyptians felt that their country was hijacked. During the second one, they felt reassured and happy that they restored Egypt and that they can build their own future.

We must also note what Sisi said during his brief statement. He called on Egyptians for hard work - which is the only means to build our country. This is the major principle he’s talked about in almost all of his appearances and which without we cannot move forward.

This article was first published in al-Masry al-Youm.


Abdel Latif el-Menawy is an author, columnist and multimedia journalist who has covered conflicts around the world. He is the author of “Tahrir: the last 18 days of Mubarak,” a book he wrote as an eyewitness to events during the 18 days before the stepping down of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Menawy’s most recent public position was head of Egypt’s News Center. He is a member of the National Union of Journalists in the United Kingdom, and the Egyptian Journalists Syndicate. He can be found on Twitter @ALMenawy

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:44 - GMT 06:44
Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.