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tv   [untitled]    June 4, 2012 7:30pm-8:00pm EDT

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so that's a problem. the majority of egyptians didn't vote in 2005. the loss of votes by muslim brothers between the parliamentary elections and the presidential elections says a lot. the parliament elections, 47% of the vote. what does this tell us about the performance? this tells us actually a very interesting thing about the people that they are choosing for themselves, and they know how to penalize poor performances, and they have a point of view, and they don't just go after rice and oil and sugar and other things. so this is a very important point that the revolution did win, and the revolution did lose, in these elections. and i think -- again, you can call me a conspiracy theorists. we're just throwing some messages here because as tom said the situation is very unclear. i think the national democratic institute -- the national democratic party, its structures, its personnel, its
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networks, its family networks, they are still functioning very well. maybe the showing in the parliamentary elections was intentional. they kept an intentionally low profile. but they're still there. and this is another possibly contesting party. we usually speak about three parties that are contesting legitimacy or contesting the street or contesting revolution forces or the protesters, speaking about the muslim brothers. we're speaking about scaf. don't forget ndp, this is also functioning. and it shifts alliances. is it closer to scaf? that's a possibility. again, these are just short messages, and we can continue to think about them. so where are we going from there? if we're speaking about the president, who's going to make it, who's not going to make it, what kind of alliances are going
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on, let's agree that the structures that are going to go into govern the ability of the coming president to act, the structures which are going to govern, you know, his road and possibles, maybe made during mubarak including the personnel and the top commands. however, it's established since 1952. the problems that these structures are decentralized, the security establishments, very decentralized. we are speaking about the president who may be begging for his daily briefing, like every day. the head of intelligence was held. scaf was appointed by president mubarak. we're speaking about lots of tradition within these establishments. we're speaking about the president, who has to deal with scaf somehow, and there has to be some sort of use, otherwise it's going to be a deadlock in addition to the possible deadlock with the parliament, of course. the coming president, whoever he
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is, must face two kinds of challenges. and i would like to distinguish between two kinds of challenges, existing challenges and new challenges or newly created challenges to welcome the new president. so the existing challenges they include the high unemployment, include the economic situation, they include definitely sinai. sinai is becoming way more. we know there are lots of weapons in there. again, without the security establishment, without the intelligence establishment, the job of the president can be very difficult. the other main problem is even if scaf is there, some are saying scaf is intentionally making the situation tougher for the coming president, making the situation tough for the people so that they drive them to that the revolution. if this is what scaf is doing, it's unarming because it's a situation that can get out of hand. scaf can control cairo. that's not a big deal if they release their thugs.
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this is the case in sinai. i think these are cards that scaf is playing with. for example, in addition to the constitution, this will definitely be a problem. in addition to going against mubarak, in addition to extending the emergency law, gas prices, gas prices are going to rise. we know that. security is definitely a problem. some people are happy that egypt stopped piping gas to israel. whether they're happy or not, i mean, these decisions are trade decisions. they are legal decisions. there might be court cases. there might be millions of dollars that egypt has to pay. the coming president is -- you know, these issues are waiting for the coming president, and i think they were -- again, call me a conspiracy theorist. they may have been intentionally created just for him. and then the expected price hikes generally.
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so the gas prices and general price hikes. this course is on the runoff. how can we speak about -- we're speaking about shafiq, we're speaking about mursi. they're going for the runoff. what kind of discourse can you read in daily newspapers and facebook and these kinds of things? i distinguished three kinds of discourses and given the fluidity and complexity of the situation, they'll cross each other. so the first discourse is it will contestation of the revolution presented by mursi, who is part of the muslim brotherhood or in opposition of the regime and the old establishment represented by shafiq. so this discourse put the revolution forces on one side and shafiq on the other. the muslim brothers if they want this discourse to prevail they have to strike deals, they have to give guarantees to the people.
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and to the different forces. unfortunately i see lots of forces aiming at boycotting the elections, nullifying votes. this is going to be dangerous for the muslim brotherhood if this discourse is going to prevail. in other words, shafiq is definitely going to get a good deal of the votes which went to morsi. shafiq is going to get part that went to sabahe as the secular candidate. if he can get the votes that went, this is going to be really problematic. we see lots of people on these two camps saying we're going to boycott the elections. this is serious if the islamists want this to prevail they have to give guarantees. some are unrealistic but the parties are calling for, some forces even call for dissolving the muslim brotherhood. guarantees include first, agreeing on the names of the people who are going to be members of the constitutional committee, this is one thing,
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the other thing is a promise to establish, which is actually mostly just promise today to establish a new government after the election which is not going to be headed by a member of the muslim brotherhood. vice presidents representing forces and liberal and moderate islamic forces, last time other guarantees which include like a written publication or a written promise or a written decree or you know, whatever you call it, by the muslim brothers saying here is what we promise. a government which is a coalition government, we include vice presidents, we're including constitution committee and here are the names of the people in the constitution committee. some steps have been taken in this regard. i don't know how functioning they are. and then one other important sort of request or demand by other forces to join morsi is to clearly demarcate the relationship between the muslim
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brothers on one hand and freedom and justice party on the other. the relationship has been almost funny. so for example, freedom and justice want to run a candidate it's made in the guidance officials of the muslim brothers. we're speaking about the candidate of a political party. these are some of the demands. the other narrative of this discourse is that this is a contest between civil society, so this is the muslim brothers and the deep state, the deep state is the state established since 1952 which includes basically a very strong role for the military, the security establishment and the intelligence establishment. another discourse, look at kind of narrow coalitions. they look at the runoff as a contestation between mubarak establishment, by shafiq, and islamic strengths led by the muslim brothers. again, this discourse is not in the favor of either of the parties. shafiq doesn't want to be perceived as, you know, mubarak's establishment, or part
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of the security state, morsi wants to grow his alliance not only to include islamist parties but he also is in very bad need for the voices that went that others, 50% of the egyptians are centrists. 50% didn't vote. and many of those who voted are voting to the center and they penalize both ndp and the muslim brotherhood. this is another discourse which narrow the coalition. a third discourse perceives this as islamist secular divide. again, both parties are now working on the fear factor. this has been the case for the first round of elections, this has been really the second round of the elections playing on the
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fear factor so shafiq is building a strong coalition. i'm not campaigning for any one candidate but i think shafiq's alliance is stronger, which holds them together is stronger. why, because the alliance is elite business men, it's definitely strong part of the community and even the young christians who voted in the first round are likely to shift to shafiq in the second round unless a strong deal and strong steps and bold steps are taken by the muslim brothers to make sure that the political arena is not polarized by islamists. normal egyptians who want to return to normal life. this is a strong coalition that shafiq is bringing together. again the discourse of a secular state versus islamist state plays in favor of shafiq. again, he's playing on the fears of a system or a country dominated by the muslim brothers or by islamist trends so interfering in personal lives and in art and culture and
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and in art and culture and society, this is definitely a threat. so, it's the threat of an islamist shat which shafiq displaying plus a security factor. morsi on the other hand is playing on fears that shafiq might be reinvention of mubarak's regime. if you want to play on this factor and this is the third discourse, if you want to play on this, that you're not just islamist but you represent the revolution, civil society versus the deep state since 1952, what you need know to do is bold steps to build bridges and strong guarantees by the muslim brothers that we're not monopolizing the system. since mubarak's ouster the muslim brothers didn't show that. there are lots of doubts. however, losing the voices is very dangerous. losing centrist egyptians is very dangerous. more abstention from voting is dangerous. we have 51% turnout.
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what kind after legitimacy if the turn out is 35%. so who will win. that's again, i'm not speculating, i'm not campaigning for any one. i think shafiq has a coalition with stronger glue. people are, you know, like the elite business people, members of the ndp, the old regime is still there. this is stronger coalition. i don't want to go, i'm short on time, but like two quick points. the president and scaf, shafiq is possibly closer to scaf. this might be a problem for morsi. however, shafiq will suffer from the parliament and some interviews made in cairo and here, in washington, d.c., i know that the muslim brothers are intentionally blocking some steps badly needed in the egyptian economy. refuse to give $3.2 billion loan
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which was badly needed to balance the budget. however, many people are saying that the muslim brothers actually insisted that they are going to block this deal because they don't want the government to benefit from it. so maybe having morsi can help. one final thing. can we look at a deal between morsi or the muslim brothers and scaf where the muslim brother can accept shafiq as president in return to, for example, appoint a prime minister, a few ministers, more powers to the party. is this possible? again, we can hope. however, i think given the history we've been seeing by the muslim brothers i think this is a possible deal. however, i think in what we've been seeing since today's morning is the muslim brothers are interested in establishing some bridges with other forces in society. with this, stop, and thank you very much for listening. >> thank you very much, mohammad.
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you raised a lot of very interesting questions that will affect egypt in the weeks and months ahead. now i'd like to open it up for questions from the audience. and please raise your hand and identify yourself and we'll try to get to as many questions as possible. yes. >> hi. carolyn with voice of america tv. you've all mentioned how low the turnout was around 50%. even you, mohammad, said it may go as low as 35% affecting the credibility of a new president. why do you think not that many egyptians came out in the first place and what are your expectations for the runoff given who the candidates are? >> first of all, i mean, it's good that we reached that number. i mean, that's a big issue because for 60 years, maybe people not voting, as a matter of fact, people in their 70s or 80s, they were voting for the first time, or 50s, voting for the first time in their life. and i was surprised that even i
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saw a lot of people were considered involved politicians or whatever, they didn't vote for years because already it was counted without casting your vote. i mean that's another thing. it's like you say as we say it, don't worry, don't go, we'll take care of your vote. you know. this is the concept. so to see people who are voting is a big thing. you are mentioning to give you number, mubarak when he was elected or whatever, elected, sorry, he was, he got 6 million votes. which is at that time was whatever it was, those who vote -- okay. the pool was 32 million people eligible to vote and 7 million people cast their vote. they cast the ballots. so it was like i don't know how
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it's percentage but this was the case in 2005. >> i think one reason definitely for not voting is that people just gave up. people, you know, want to get done with this transition period, plus, lots of people are not used to voting. there is another technical reason we should not forget. first, we know that the people have the right to vote were not revised so there were votes, there were names of, you know, people who passed away. some people who are outside of egypt were registered twice. inside and outside so you have a greater pool so this is one technical problem. the other technical problem, it's also legal, that just in the elections we had around 45 million voters, this we have 5 million. sorry 45. now we have 50. so 5 million were added to the rosters. who are these. do they have the right to vote. are they fake voices. this is another technical reason
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that we're not really sure about. but for sure we know that people are there. we know that egyptians sometimes are registered outside than inside. there are lots of problems with the rosters of people who have the right to vote. >> so greg, just to complete the scene because you are asking about the votes, for example, we know between 7 to 9 million egyptians are living abroad, outside egypt. of those people who registered to vote were like fewer 400 to 500,000 people. in united states those who registered were like what, 30,000 people. we know that -- we expect in united states, for example, there is almost like million maybe, one million people. out of them just 30,000 people vote. i mean register to vote. >> okay. question, please. >> just about the percentage,
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isn't it the same in the united states about 50% of eligible voters really vote? i think it's about the same percentage as far as i know. but i have a question in regard to the progression of events. i see that they have put the cart before the horse when they decided to have elections, before the constitution is written. again, as you said, president's job description has not been written, and yet you have presidential election, same for the parliament. what the power is supposed to be without the constitution. i think they went further or went faster in that direction. in my view, should have a constitution before you have elections. not the other way around. really puzzled. i wonder if anybody can comment on that. >> well -- >> i think the easiest answer to that is that the transition has,
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unfortunately, from the beginning, been a work in progress. if you go back to what i was trying to describe about the issue of competing legitimacies between the muslim brotherhood, the revolutionaries and the military there was no consensus on the design, the sequence or the time frame of the transition. the scaf put out initially a very vague template for the transition that was always since mubarak's overthrow has been subject to pressure, has been subject to legal challenges, has been subject to renegotiation, so if you take that as a backdrop, that will explain the situation that you describe, because initially the original intent was to have the constitution before the presidential elections. two things basically happened. pressure on the part of the demonstrators to bring up the
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date for presidential elections. we were due to have presidential elections months from now. certainly not in the time frame we're discussing now. discussin. but in, at the staff had to back down under the force of the demonstrators to bring up the timetable for presidential elections. at the same time, what you had in parallel was a deadlock in the institution writing process that mohamed mentioned and therefore, delayed the whole institution writing agenda. so now, we have a very strange situation in which the timetable for presidential election was moved up and the deadlock in the institution writing process delayed the formulation of a constitution, so this is the situation we have. it is a messy transition. it was highly contested and really was a work in progress because there was no consensus over the sequence in timing of the steps of the transition
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itself. >> if i could just add following events closely that the nonmuslim brotherhood members ba basically coalessed to protest what they saw was the monopolization of the writing process and you had even diverse groups, egyptian liberals, also got together and said we should take our objections to the courts. so it became r very political that way. any other questions? >> david fitzgerald. question about the third place finisher. normally in elections, that person ends up being a key fact. perhaps some of those voters going to the eventual winner. i know there isn't much of a
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track record for how the third place finers supporters will break the two top runners. any speculation? islamic versus secular type that will drive all these other supporters that go to one of the two? >> very quickly. there's lots of speculation. nobody really knows how those folks will break. i think as mohamed and tom described it, you have a process as contenders try to rule those votes that were split three ways between the three candidates who didn't make it into the the run off. but i think there is a real question which i certainly don't have the answer to. is to what degree do these voters vote in block fashion? so, for example, if we do have an ens by mr. sabai who came in
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third to one of the other of the candidates, will his followers vote as he does? that's highly questionable. i think if one clear example of that is the vote we didn't talk about that much. the political leadership declared their outright support. who was the independent islamist candidate. all the indications show that the sell bus did not vote as a block following that political leadership, so it raises a question as to what degree voters really follow their leader or candidate or the degree to which they vote independently. >> yeah. the thing that i want too little bit focus today that's why i'm trying to explain today is that okay, unfortunately, we are
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always, we have short span attention to things, which is like election now for example. few weeks ago it was ngos problem with egyptians and then we forgot the ngos and now, election was going to win as if it's like a political system which is allowing this person or that person to win. and then we are looking to for example, muslim brotherhood like something came out in 18 months. no, skaf was there for 60 years. moment muslim brothers are there for 18 years and then the same thing when we talk about liberals, i'm not trying to make it complic e complicated. it's a case. we have to see the wood, not just the trees. raised many, many time and those
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people were coming on television, they talk about woman rights or whatever rights and maybe they don't have believes in god or so in so. no, the liberals are there in egypt for 150 years and what they see civilization, modernization in egypt, cairo and other places is the outcome of those people. we cannot, it's not like somebody came out back, came back from let's say as the egyptians are saying, came back from gulf with some money saying those liberals are the ones ruining egypt. that's not the case. and that's why i'm telling you it's a whole idea of who is going to win. it's a matter of, it's a bit of choice and as a matter of fact most of the people revolutionaries are saying, it's a bad choice in two cases. now, we are looking for which is less worse, less bad than the
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other. it's not the better, but it's worse than the other. one last question. >> number one is that 54% of the egyptian border stayed away. is there any care that the outcome of the election they should have been they are voting because if you look at the solution votes, aside about three, it was not really a good case to talk about revolutions. if they continue to stay home and not to go and vote in the run off election, there's going to be a disaster. because as you said, pick up the least e venn of the two. well, actually, it is the -- also rewarded for quite a few
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reasons. like you forgot one thing. that the muslim brotherhood and saflys did not manage to deliver any vote. if they would join hand together, they can influence the final outcome. i also have to stress, i'm egyptian original and have connection with egypt, so the two major egypt they talk about, sitting in cafe or in private, security and economics. now, if you're stressed security and sophie is doing that, there's going to be a reminder of the black history of mubarak and it might backfire. it is very hard to tell at this time who's going to be winning and who's going to be losing, but i believe that it's not going to be decided until everyone goes and vote and see how heavy or light the turnout. >> unfortunately, we have to wrap up now because we're out of time, but just want to respond.
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>> a question -- >> another question or respond -- you decide. >> if you want to repond -- >> oh, it's just a very quick response. thank you very much for your points. they make perfect sense. that's why we're trying to project into the future. i understand it's not an easy job. people who work in think tanks or whatever, we try based on some to project. i agree things can backfire. from my analysis, and i agree that lots of forces, and reward and in. i think narrowing his coalition won't win because the voting or id logs, who get some organization, they each limit in the first round. >> you know, so in the second round, the same vote can be a problem. again, president will have more turnout and to have a broader support. i think that's why, why i think will be the challenge that most is facing.
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i think the coalition is kind of strong enough, but he can rule window in more voters easily than -- has all the problems of being members of the muslim brothers. >> okay, well thank you very much. we've run out of time, but thank you for the discussion. this is


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