Egyptian Elections: The Punch Line

Published May 27th, 2012 - 15:42 GMT

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Mohammed Mursi is footballer Messi
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Image 1 of 11: Jokes doing the rounds in Egypt's electoral circuit include a whole string of football funnies. There's the Messi-Mursi gag, resting on the idea that Mursi scores. As with the Champions League final between the underdogs, Shafiq and Mursi are not the finalists expected. Aboul Fotouh & Sabahi are the Real Madrid & Barcelona that didn't make it.

Aboul Fotouh moderate Muslim Brother for President
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Image 1 of 11: Aboul Fotouh, a key candidate, had formally broken away from the Muslim Brotherhood to run as an independent but not all were convinced he had left his Islamism behind. A Twitter comment from a would-be voter read: "I went to vote for Aboul Fotouh, I got there, realized I was hungover & if I voted for him I'd never be hungover again. So I left".

Islamist power! Aboul Fotouh (L), al-Shater (R) in Egypt's elections
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Image 1 of 11: Will Mursi show 'mercy' once in power? Aboul Fotouh looked like a favorite before the run off but the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) candidate was seen by many as being too hardline for the nation, despite pleading to be a moderate. A cartoon shows him with former MB contender Khairat al-Shater, converting voters to Islamists no sooner than they win.

Voting irregularities reported at Egypt election polling booths
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Image 1 of 11: Egyptians happy to lend a helpful hand: It may have been a first fair election but this was still Egypt! Polling station clerks couldn't quite help themselves from giving their own personal recommendations of who to vote for. The usual suspects were Shafiq and Mursi but staff at the stations were keen to advise voters on their own favorites.

Ahmed Shafiq's had a shoe thrown at him during elections
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Image 1 of 11: The mob show their contempt from Arab brother to brother: Shafiq's Shoe (or 'Surmaya' in some dialects) became a disturbing but amusing sign of the state of affairs when a disgusted citizen lobbed his shoe in disdain at Ahmed Shafiq. That the man on the receiving end of an Arab shoe-throwing could be the next president is not a palatable idea.

Voters queue at polling stations to elect Egypt's President
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Image 1 of 11: Arabs queuing? Get to the back of the line! Time for some democracy in action when People's Assembly Speaker and Muslim Brotherhood leader Saad al-Katatny arrived at the polling station to cast his ballot. Confident he was a VIP, he tried to jump the queue but voters told him in no uncertain terms to wait his turn just like everyone else.

Google ha internet
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Image 1 of 11: Google has a say in Egypt's Choice. "Google Doodle" demonstrated that even Google wanted to get in on the action as the Egyptian elections became a global phenomenon. The infamous google doodle got election fever: just one of the many examples of how social media aided and abetted, or intruded if you like, on the voting.

Salafi Sheikhs pull out snake threats for Egypt elections
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Image 1 of 11: The campaigns got vicious when some of Mohammed Mursi followers, of the Salafi Sheikh variety, brought religious allusions into play. The campaign in a local rag read 'Vote for Mursi or snakes will torture and ravage your dead corpse for years' (now, now- no need for that!)

Egypt's belly dancers vote non-Islamist Egyptian President
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Image 1 of 11: Flirting with the snake is the belly dancing seductress: Who would the belly dancers be best off electing to protect their right to shake it in the age-old honorable Egyptian tradition? They'd probably vote the same way as the tourism chiefs who need to keep their livelihood prospering by keeping the Islamists at arms length.

Political frays invade domestic space & street corner
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Image 1 of 11: Spoilt for choice: Egyptians faced with a choice of candidates found politics moving out of the public sphere & into the home and spilling into domestic squabbles. Sons no longer spoke to fathers, wives threatened to divorce husbands. One woman, in labor, said her doctor would not deliver the baby without assurances that she voted like him.

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Image 1 of 11: One mock conspiracy played on the idea that Ahmed Shafiq was just another way in for the old Mubarak cronies, going something like this: Shafiq’s wife dies, Shafiq becomes president of Egypt, Mubark dies, Shafiq marries Suzanne and Jamal becomes the new Egyptian president!

Even as things hot-up in the electorate of Egypt over the final two candidates set to face-off in a run-off, it's not all doom and gloom, or intense as you could be forgiven for imagining, in a country that's gone through as much as revolutionary post-Tahrir Egypt. The Egyptians have retained their unfailing humor and, while some are genuinely horrified at the prospect of either of the two candidates up for the presidential seat, others are grinning and bearing it.

For Egyptians, who value their entertainment industry as much as their politics, laughing their way through these hard and tentative times is the best way to deal with the fact that, after going through the labor pangs of revolution, they may find an old dinosaur from Mubarak's regime or an Islamist die-hard taking the reigns of what is the heart and soul and leading light of the Arab world.

The Egyptian humor we've come to know and love from the Jan25 Tahrir revolution to date is still alive and active in the political electoral circuit, as the nation bides its time til the next people-chosen president. Here's a comedy gallery of Egyptian funnies on the  presidential elections.

 

 

If you have any further funnies on the presidential race to share not featured in the above, do use the comment space below to leave your humorous mark.

 

 

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