Today we visited the Arab & African Research Center in Cairo, which is one of the rare groups in Egypt that think of Arabs and Africans as one in Egypt. We met with the Vice President and other professors who work there for light refreshments and conversation. With the new presidential elections coming up our conversation primarily focused on the legitimacy of both candidates. Egyptian citizens are faced with a dilemma today between the two current presidential candidates, Ahmed Shafik and Mohammed Morsi. This is a common theme that I have been continuously discovering when I ask Egyptians that I meet about which of the two they will vote for. Many Egyptians that I have encountered have told me that they would rather have neither of them as president. When you are stuck between choosing two candidates that you do not want, how do you decide which is the lesser of the two evils? An inexperienced member of the Muslim Brotherhood or someone from Mubarak’s regime? One of the professors said that she would rather vote for Shafik because it would be easier to overthrow his regime than Morsi. However, if Shafik were to win and continue the corrupt regime of Mubarak, then the Egyptian revolution would have been a waste. Morsi would provide a change to the political structure of Egypt that could either be positive or negative.
Currently, this new election is muddled with chaos. There is no formal structure to the first presidential elections in Egyptian history. Yesterday a panel of judges decided on allowing Shafik to run despite the fact that he was Mubarak’s prime minister, and they dissolved the elected Parliament. With no Parliament and no new constitution, elections are still going to take place in the next two days.
I sympathize with Egyptians. They have fought for months and died for a positive change in their nation, but instead are forced to choose between two individuals who they see to be unfit to rule Egypt.
Hopefully, these next two days will bring a positive change to Egypt.