Presidential Election - 2012
On 24 June 2012 Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsi was declared the winner of Egypt's presidential run-off. Egypt's election commission announced that Morsi won nearly 52 percent of the vote, beating former prime minister and Mubarak-era official Ahmed Shafiq. Morsi will become Egypt's first freely elected president. At his first meeting with Field Marsha Mohamed Hussein Tantawi on Tuesday 26 June 2012, the Head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces following his election as President of the Republic, President-elect Dr. Mohamed Morsi expressed his appreciation of the role of the Armed Forces in running the voting process in full transparency. During his visit to the headquarters of the Defense Ministry, President elect Morsi expressed his appreciation for the SCAF in running the state affairs during transitional period saying the Armed Forces have protected Egypt against many risks and respected the popular will of the great Egyptian people.
On his part, Tantawi said the Armed Forces since the early days of the revolution had one goal represented in safeguarding the supreme interests of Egypt and deepening the value of Freedom for the Egyptian people who embarked on their revolution with the aim of achieving justice and dignity. He said the Armed Forces stood and will stand at equal distance from all political powers and currents, adding they will support the legitimate president who was elected by the will of the people.
On 18 June 2012 Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsi claimed victory in Egypt's first post-uprising presidential race. But the rival camp of old guard candidate Ahmed Shafiq disputed the unofficial results. Shafiq's campaign asserted the former Air Force commander and last prime minister under the old government had a slight lead over Morsi. Voter turnout in the two-day runoff election was low, an apparent sign of little enthusiasm about the two choices, neither of which many voters said represents their vision for the country's future. The choice between an Islamist or a member of the old government has proven unpalatable to many - the two candidates combined had gathered only 11.5 million votes out of a total of 23.2 million cast in the initial round of voting in May 2012.
But the court ruling dissolving the Islamist-dominated lower parliament 14 June 2012 galvanized many revolutionaries, who were previously set on boycotting the elections, to vote for Morsi, suggesting that voting in an Islamist candidate would be much more palatable than voting in a member of the old regime.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Washington was monitoring the implications of the Egyptian court decisions. “In keeping with SCAF commitments, the U.S. expects to see a full transfer of power to a democratically-elected civilian government,” she said. “There can be no going back on the democratic transition called for by the Egyptian people.”
Two controversial rulings by Egypt’s High Court threated to throw the country back into violent chaos, according to experts watching the events. On Thursday 14 June 2012 it upheld the right of Ahmed Shafiq, an ally of former Prime Minister Hosni Mubarak, to run in the presidential runoff election. Egypt's Supreme Constitutional Court rejected a parliamentary law that barred officials from the rule of former president Hosni Mubarak from running for office, clearing the way for former prime minister Ahmed Shafiq to contest the upcoming run-off. The court also ruled that one-third of the Egyptian legislature was elected illegally, making the entire parliament unconstitutional. A court spokesman said, as a result, the lower house of parliament - the People's Assembly - must be dissolved.
The first post-revolution presidential election in Egypt had begun 23-24 May 2012, with the registration period for candidates ending 08 April 2012. More than 400 candidates had registered. if no candidate secures more than 50 percent of the vote, a run-off election will take place on June 16 and 17. The final election results will be announced on June 21. Opinion polls showed four front runners. They include two Islamists, the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsi and independent Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh, and two members of the old guard - veteran diplomat Amr Moussa and former Air Force commander Ahmed Shafik. Another candidate, socialist Hamdeen Sabahi had also emerged in recent polls.
The Higher Presidential Elections Commission (HPEC) held a press conference on Monday 28/5/2012 to announced that no candidate got the absolute majority required to win the presidential election and a run-off, according to article 40 of the presidential election law, was to be held between Dr. Mohammed Mohammed Morsi Essa Al-Ayyat and Dr. Ahmed Mohammed Shafiq Zaki, in their capacity as the two candidates of the highest votes.
Mohamed Morsi / Mohammed Mursi
On 17 April 2012 Egypt's electoral commission confirmed the disqualification of 10 candidates from next month's presidential election, ending the candidacies of Muslim Brotherhood chief strategist Khairat el-Shater. The Islamist movement still had a back-up candidate in the presidential race - Mohammed Morsi, Chairman of Egypt’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) — the political party of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is the largest party in the Egyptian Parliament.
By February 2011, Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak pledged in a televised address to remain in office only until the next election and after protests in Cairo’s Tahrir Square turned violent. At that time, Mohamed Morsi, a leading member of the opposition Muslim Brotherhood, deniedthat if Mubarak’s government were to fall, an Iranian-type regime would come in its place. The Muslim Brotherhood spokesman sidestepped the issue by saying that members of his movement constituted only about five to ten percent of the millions of protesters in the streets and that they all shared one common goal – freedom, democracy and justice for all Egyptians. He also insisted that even an Islamic state can be “civilian” [i.e. secular] in nature. Morsi at the same time denied plans of a Muslim Brotherhood take-over saying that his movement wants freedoms to be shared between Egypt’s Muslims and Christians, women and men. “We want freedom and justice, we want free elections, and for people to [be able] to choose whomever they want to choose,” Morsi said. He said that even if the brotherhood wanted to take over, it could not, considering the young age and often secular persuasion of the majority of the protesters that have filled the streets.
The 2006 had witnessed detentions without charge or trial of hundreds of opposition activists associated with the banned Muslim Brotherhood (MB), including senior MB leaders Essam El-Erian and Mohamed Morsi, who were detained May-early December as a result of their involvement in demonstrations in support of judicial independence.
Three days after former president Hosni Mubarak stepped down from power, the Muslim Brotherhood announced plans to form a political party. "When the popular demand for the freedom to form parties is realized, the group will establish a political party," said the statement, posted on the group's website on 14 February 2011.
Ahmed Shafiq, a former Air Force commander, enjoyed the support of Egypt's powerful military. Egypt's widespread lawlessness has overshadowed daily life since the revolution that began in January 2011. It is the most prominent issue in the presidential race. Shafiq had risen in the polls by targeting a population frustrated with Egypt's turbulent transition, plagued by violent clashes, an ever-increasing wave of violent crime and an economy in disarray.
The Higher Presidential Elections Commission (HPEC) announced on Thursday 26/4/2012 the final list of presidential candidates. On Wednesday 25/4/2012, Ahmed Shafiq was included again on the list after appealing an earlier HPEC decision that excluded him from running for the elections. The decision was based on the recently approved Political Isolation Law, also known as Disenfranchisement Law, which prevents top-level ex-regime officials from exercising their political rights for 10 years.
Ahmed Shafiq was born in Cairo, November 1941. He graduated from The Air Academy in 1961, served in fighter squadrons during The War of Attrition until he became Fighter Air squadron Commander. By 1967 he was the Multi -Task Airwing Commander. Later on, he became Air Base Commander. During 1984 - 1986 , he was a military attaché in Rome, Italy. Through out 1988-1991 Air Marshal Ahmed Shafiq served in a variety of command positions prior to assuming command of Air Operations Department. In September 1991 , he was appointed as The Air Force Chief of Staff. He took part in all wars since his graduation. Commander, Egypt Air Force (April 1996 to 2002), he was Minister of Civil Aviation (2002). He is married and has three daughters, he likes to read and play squash.
Hosni Mubarak named Shafiq to the post of Prime Minister shortly after the outbreak of massive anti-government protests. Mubarak stepped down February 11, but several of his Cabinet ministers retained their posts. The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces responded 02 March 2011 to one of the demands of the revolution when it decided to accept the resignation of prime minister Ahmed Shafiq and appointed Dr. Essam Sharaf, who participated in the revolution in Tahrir square, to form the new government. By doing so, "the Council has presented a new evidence of responding to the legitimate demands of the Egyptian people who are looking forward to achieving freedom and social justice. We urge every Egyptian who is loyal to his country and who believes in the revolution to forge ahead towards achieving these demands and work for bringing life to normal to all the state's institutions. " Former prime minister Ahmed Shafiq said 05 March 2011 that he submitted his resignation for the interest of the country and in order to void more protests and demonstrations. Speaking to nearly 5,000 people who rallied at his residence, Shafiq did not rule out the possibility of running for the presidential elections, saying he is still considering the matter. They launched a campaign to collect signatures, based on the national IDs, for supporting Shafiq’s nomination for the presidential post in order to be submitted to the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces.
He should not be confused with Ahmed Shafiq (1860 – 1940) who was appointed to administer the Civil Endowments Authority in Egypt, Ahmad Shafiq was able to save it from bankruptcy. He laid down rules and rooted out cancerous corruption. After the outbreak of WWI in 1914, he accompanied deposed Khedive Abbas Helmi to Constantinople and stayed there until 1921 when he returned to Egypt to inaugurate a new era of reform.
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