[26 May 2012] Many young Egyptians reluctant to vote - English

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Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood says its candidate Mohamed Morsi will face former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq in the country’s presidential run-off election. Morsi is in the lead with 25.3 percent of the vote, followed by Shafiq with 24.9 percent. Official results from the electoral body are expected to be announced on Tuesday. The two candidates will compete in a run-off election on June 16 and 17. Electoral commission officials said that turnout was around 43 percent over the two days of voting on Wednesday and Thursday. Press TV has conducted an interview with Yahia Ghanem, editor at the al-Ahram newspaper, to hear his opinion on this issue. The following is a rough transcription of the interview. Press TV: Trying to understand these results specially Shafiq he did not do that well in his campaigning. How did he come up to this second place, finish at this point which is not really finished, it is unofficial results, what is your reaction to that? Ghanem: Well if you talk, if you ask about the reactions I believe that partly it was a shock for a lot of number of the Egyptians whereas it was a pleasant surprise of course for some others. So I believe that as much as Egypt and the Egyptians have been showing strong signs of being united, a united house in their march towards democracy, when it comes to the results of the first round of the elections they started showing strong signs of a house divided in terms of this splinter between Shafiq which is considered to be a remnant of the former regime and Dr. [Morsi], the candidate of the Muslim Brotherhood. Press TV: In terms of who came out to vote we are looking at two large majorities, 60 percent saying to be from the urban areas which are farmers and then of course we are looking at the percentage of the youth in the country which is said to be 50 percent below the age of 30. But it does not seem like these results are indicating that which some are saying the silent majority came out. Do you see it that way? Ghanem: Say it again please. Press TV: The silent majority, do you think they were the ones that came out, tilting some of the voting in terms of the results we are seeing right now? Ghanem: I am not quite sure if I understood your question... Press TV: The silent majority of Egyptians is what I am getting at, did they come out, the ones who did not come out to vote for the parliamentary elections maybe came out this time to vote? Ghanem: Well, I believe that there was a large percentage of absence from the voters because everybody expected actually a higher percentage, everybody expected that the Egyptians would break the record that they scored during the first stage of the last parliamentary elections but unfortunately it did not happen. And I believe that there are reasons behind such absence and such reluctance of that large number of voters to practice and to exercise the right in voting the first civilian elected president but I believe that a large number of the youth who actually participated and spot the revolution, also they were reluctant to participate in these elections and I observed that while I was touring the polling stations, I believe that there were reasons actually behind such reluctance, such as the way the military council ran the whole show during the last 16 months and specially running that presidential election show. Press TV: And of course one of the biggest troubles and challenges Yahia Ghanem is the constitution and the presidential powers. When is that going to be resolved? Ghanem: I believe we still have to go for quite a while after the elections to sort out this issue of the right in constitution and specially that issue of writing the constitution. But personally speaking I believe that this issue have been made an issue by certain parties with interest to complicate things in Egypt because writing constitution is not that problem actually and they complicated the whole thing by inciting all different kinds of society, all the [structure] in society to claim the right of being represented in this committee and to share or to take part in writing the constitution. No constitutions in the world are being written that way. It is up to the specialists, the lawmakers or the professors of constitutional law to write the constitution as in many or in all the countries in the world and then for the establishing committee to discuss and to review that draft constitution but of course it does not make any sense for all representatives of all the sectors of the society and the [structure] of the society to take part in writing the constitution. It is funny and it is not true of course.

Added by PTV on 26-05-2012
Runtime: 13m 34s
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