Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of the Pan-African News Wire, shown through Press TV graphic while discussing the situation in Egypt in the aftermath of the run-off presidential elections. The North African state may erupt into social unrest., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Could Egypt's elections produce a stalemate?
Interview with Abayomi Azikiwe, Director of Pan African News Wire, Detroit.
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Tue Jun 19, 2012 3:48PM GMT
I believe there would be mass demonstrations and all types of civil disobedience that would take place in Egypt if the outcome of the vote is not satisfactory to the majority of the people both within the electorate and even of those who did not vote."
The SCAF after claiming widespread authority over the next Egyptian president has dissolved the parliament on the eve of the national presidential election.
Press TV has interviewed Abayomi Azikiwe, Director of Pan Africa News Wire in Detroit about the dissolution of the Islamic majority parliament in what many Egyptians believe is a coup d’état by the Military Council. What follows is an approximate transcript of the interview.
Press TV: Right now all the eyes are on the Election Commission and its upcoming announcement. What do you think that's going to hold? Is Morsi going to stay as the president elect?
Azikiwe: I think that this is a very important moment in regard to the modern history of Egypt. It appears as if the Muslim Brotherhood, the Freedom of Justice Party, is in the lead in regard to the national presidential elections.
But I think what the people are really concerned about are the statements and the decrees that have been issued by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) over the last several days, which appear to give them power over and above even the parliament, which has been dissolved, as well as the president who will be inaugurated very soon.
The dissolution of the parliament has in fact disillusioned many people inside of Egypt. How that situation is going to be resolved is going to be very important in regard to how this whole political dispensation is going to be structured inside of Egypt.
If there is no parliamentary structure that can stand the scrutiny and the authority of the military, there is going to be some serious issues in regard to the actual authority of the president, whoever he is, that is going to be named over the next several hours or over the next few days.
I think it is very important that the people remain vigilant and try to figure out what all of this means because 'why' first of all, did the SCAF deem it necessary to dissolve parliament right on the eve of the outcome of the national presidential elections?
Secondly, what is going to be the real authority for the president and other forces inside Egypt in regard to constructing a new Constitution
that in effect empowers the majority of the people inside of Egypt itself?
These are two questions that are going to have to be resolved very, very soon inside of Egypt otherwise we're going to be in a political situation where there is going to be a stalemate with the majority of the people inside of Egypt, the elected president, which would appear to be Mohamed Morsi and of course on the other side the SCAF and the supporters of Ahmed Shafiq.
Press TV: Another thing that comes to mind is the fact that the whole purpose of the revolution of Egypt was to get rid of the dictatorial rule of Hosni Mubarak and his regime. Now we have Ahmed Shafiq who is in the running for the election representing the old regime and has 40 percent acquired votes. Is that even possible?
Azikiwe: We don't know until we get the official results from the overwhelming majority of the constituencies inside of Egypt itself. It raises some serious questions - the fact that the military-backed candidate Ahmed Shafiq has been able to poll about 38 percent of the national electorate raises a lot of questions.
Does it mean that people were apprehensive about the potential of an Islamic government taking power in Egypt or does it mean there were some irregularities in the polling and tabulation of the votes?
These are issues that have to be resolved very, very soon. So it's going to be problematic from the standpoint that there is no parliament, which had an overwhelming majority of the Islamic political forces that were elected to that parliament.
And also, what is this new Constitution actually going to offer in regard to political powers and social status for the majority of the people inside Egypt itself. These are some very important issues that are yet to be resolved. But yes of course we're waiting very anxiously for the outcome, to see the result and what is going to happen in the aftermath.
Press TV: Just briefly if you could explain to us, do you possibly see another revolt in Egypt if in hindsight it is the other way round and Ahmed Shafiq is somehow miraculously elected as the next elected president?
Azikiwe: I do not believe that the people of Egypt will accept Ahmed Shafiq as the president of the country some 16 months after this upheaval that took place in 2011 and I believe there would be mass demonstrations and all types of civil disobedience that would take place in Egypt if the outcome of the vote is not satisfactory to the majority of the people both within the electorate and even of those who did not vote.
I understand that the turnout for the election was far less than many people would have anticipated, approximately 40 percent of the national electorate of Egypt went out to vote in these national presidential elections.
So that means that there is a question of credibility as far as the whole political process itself is concerned in regard to the overwhelming majority of people inside of Egypt. There should have been, you would think, more than 40 percent of the national electorate that would come out and participate in these elections.
But this is the reality that we're dealing with. The situation is by no means resolved and the election is another phase in the whole transitional process and it remains to be seen what the actual outcome is going to be beyond the announcement of the official outcome of the national presidential elections.