Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of the Pan-African News Wire, was featured on Press TV News Analysis on June 22, 2012. He addressed the current political situation in the North African state of Egypt., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
‘Shafiq victory in election to cause political chaos in Egypt’
Sat Jun 23, 2012 8:54AM GMT
To watch this interview with Pan-African News Wire editor Abayomi Azikiwe just click on the URL below:
"They (Egypt’s military) were acting based upon their own class interest within Egypt and also those class interests in alliance with both the United States as well as the state of Israel. What has happened over the last several days clearly indicates that the military is positioning itself to announce on Sunday that Ahmad Shafiq does have the majority, a slim majority of the popular vote in the run-off to the elections and this of course could cause a tremendous upsurge in political upheaval inside of Egypt itself.”
Pan-African News Wire editor Abayomi Azikiwe
A possible victory by ousted dictator Hosni Mubarak’s last Prime Minister Ahmad Shafiq in Egypt’s presidential election could cause a “tremendous upsurge in political upheaval” inside the country, says an analyst.
The comment comes as thousands of people are holding a sit-in protest in Cairo’s Tahrir Square against, what they call, a power grab by the Army that has divided the nation.
The demonstrators are protesting the delay in announcing the winner of the run-off presidential election of June 16-17 and the risk of a coup by the military rulers.
The delay in producing the results, which had been due on Thursday, has raised widespread suspicions that the returns are being negotiated rather than counted.
The junta has criticized the presidential candidates, Shafiq and the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood’s political wing, the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP)’s Mohammed Morsi, for releasing early results, calling the move unjustified and “one of the main reasons for divisions and tensions.”
Both candidates’ campaigns have declared victory in the race. The Brotherhood has produced, what it said was, certified copies of ballot tallies to support its claim.
Many fear that the delay in releasing the results is the Army’s tactic for declaring the former premier the winner.
Press TV has conducted an interview with Pan-African News Wire editor Abayomi Azikiwe to further shed light on the issue.
The video also offers the opinions of two other guests: Professor of Sociology Mohammed Mohiuddin and author and Muslim Brotherhood representative in the UK Mohammed Ghanem.
What follows is an approximate transcript of the interview.
Press TV: Well Mr. Azikiwe if that was the case based on what our guest there said looking at the ruling generals since February 2011 practically orchestrating everything that has gone on all the way down to what has occurred this past week doesn’t paint a very bright future for Egyptians themselves, does it?
Do you agree with the assessment that he made in terms of this being orchestrated... and coming up with some of the developments that have occurred in the past few days?
Azikiwe: Yes, I do believe that the professor is targeting in on the central political questions involved in overall Egyptian revolutionary struggle. Last February 11 the supreme council of the armed forces, the top military leadership backed by the United States stepped in and assumed power in the face of a rising popular uprising inside of Egypt.
The fact that the people who were in the streets, the workers, the youth, the intellectuals did not have a cohesive alliance or a political party that was strong enough to seize power in the name of the people actually provided a rationale for the military to step in and make it appear as if they were acting on behalf of the popular aspirations of the people inside of Egypt.
In fact they were acting based upon their own class interests within Egypt and also those class interests in alliance with both the United States as well as the state of Israel. What has happened over the last several days clearly indicates that the military is positioning itself to announce on Sunday that Ahmad Shafiq does have the majority, a slim majority of the popular vote in the run-off to the elections and this of course could cause a tremendous upsurge in political upheaval inside of Egypt itself.
As you mentioned before, the notion that they’re talking about setting up a new constitutional assembly, they have issued a decree indicating that they are willing to protect what they perceive to be the national security interests of Egypt.
This is actually positioning the military even further to move against any type of popular uprising that would inevitably take place if they do announce on Sunday that they are going to put Ahmad Shafiq in power in Egypt.
Shafiq represents the old guard, the last prime minister under Mubarak, a former top air force general in Egypt. Clearly if they put him in power they’re really opening up the situation for further destabilization of Egypt.
Press TV: Mr. Azikiwe really it is unbelievable when you look at what is happening in terms of what steps the SCAF has taken. I mean aren’t they in any shape or form afraid about what has been described; they have said that the people are out on the streets like the April 6 movement.
That there is going to be a civil war, isn’t that something they’re afraid of as a consequence because every step they have taken is so severe, even this vote counting. At this point it’s saying that well, it’s not even about the votes being counted but what’s being negotiated if that’s the case. Are they not afraid of what’s going to happen on the streets of Egypt?
Azikiwe: I think they are very concerned about the outcome, not only of the delay in the results because the official results were supposed to be announced on Thursday. Now they’re saying it will take place three to four days later.
They’re very concerned about what the response is going to be on the part of the Egyptian people and when they find out that possibly Ahmad Shafiq is going to be anointed as president but they’re also concerned if Mohammed Morsi is proclaimed, and he has been claiming, that he is the victor of the national run-off elections.
If he is in fact recognized as the president they are also concerned about losing their total grip on power within the political structure as well as within the economy inside of Egypt and also possible legal and political retaliation and the long term ramifications of a shift in the balance of forces inside of Egypt itself.
There are many people who were dissatisfied about the outcome of the recent trials that were held against Mubarak, his sons and other leading figures within the interior ministry.
There may be other legal efforts taken on by the Muslim Brotherhood to attempt to re-prosecute and also expand the prosecution of other leading officials within the security and political apparatus of Egypt itself.
So I think they have a fear both of what will happen if Ahmad Shafiq is proclaimed to be the winner of the national run-off elections. What will be the popular sentiment of the masses and at the same time their concern if the Mohammad Morsi candidacy prevails.
What will be the end result of that in regard to the possible legal ramifications for these leading figures who have in fact been committing atrocities, human rights violations, and civil rights violations against broad segments of the Egyptian population for decades now?
So I think they are afraid on both hands. But I do not think that it is sustainable for them to declare Ahmad Shafiq as being the victor of the run-off elections. I don’t think they can maintain power indefinitely if this is carried out. They have the weapons but if they don’t have the popular will and the confidence of the majority of the people inside of Egypt they will not be able to govern the country in any type of peaceful and satisfactory manner.