Egyptian Elections: Who's Who
So far the new successor or transitory power since Mubarak - the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) - has been seen as a continuation of the old guard and Mubarak regime. This has not been adequate for a people, and indeed a 'square', baying for real change.
Protesters (and hopeful voters) out in force at Tahrir Sqare hope to see today's Parliamentary run of elections as rather a continuation of the fight for Egyptian freedom and against militarism. Continue reading below »
Though it seems an unsettled time- in light of deadly protests last week- to be forging on with elections as scheduled, much of the Egyptian contingency are in the same frame of agreement that Elections Now is the way forward, at whatever price or risk.
Therefore, the head of Egypt's SCAF has ordained that elections will go ahead today, notwithstanding the headlining protests this week in which 42 people have died.
These parliamentary elections for 2012 scheduled ahead of time following the revolution which ousted President Hosni Mubarak, after which SCAF dissolved the parliament of Egypt, are to be held in three stages. Postponed from the initial September date, the elections, starting today are forecast for three stages on the following dates:
For many, the vote is considered a vital way to an eligible new government post-Mubarak, made up of a strong interior ministry in charge of security to prevent the carnage and chaos of transitional Tahrir.
Also, many emphasize, this new elected goverment should be fit for the job of judging the thuggish elements from the last regime. For these, the parliamentary elections represent the only way out of this quagmire - and possibly the most sound choice since Mubarak's ouster (since SCAF is deemed to have failed in its remit).
The resounding Tahrir-strong call for the end to the military rule
Still, many have pointed out that 'Tahrir is not Egypt' meaning that the radical square voice does not act as a catch-all for the voice of the masses (of which the Egyptians have plenty).
All can agree on not wanting for this temporary 'crisis' to bar them from voting today.
Hussein Tantawi, Field Marshall and appointed head of SCAF, called on voters to turn out at the polls today and said that there would be "extremely grave consequences" if the current crisis were not overcome.
So what do today's first round of parliamentary elections promise and who are the contenders for new Egyptian power?
There are four alliances running altogether, with one alliance bringing together a seven-strong socialist entry.
The new elected parliament will round up a committee of 100 members in order to establish a new constitution so the parliament majority will have a big influence on the new emerging constitution.
Many claim that that this is the Islamists revolting to gain power, while others describe the current situation as that of the Egyptian people revolting against police brutality and military rule. They want to see the military removed from political and civilian life. That is not to say that the Muslim Brotherhood will not succeed in gaining a sizeable majority in this round of elections, as predicted.
The theme of the elections
"Leave Scaf leave!"-- is the prevailing cry echoing across the square til today. This uncompromising position was made no less potent and urgent by the military response to the square's 'people' stance, heavily reported last week: Security forces had been using different kinds of tear gases excessively, rubber bullets, and live ammunition against protesters and were, until today, getting more violent with each day.
All is 'quiet' on the Tahrir, voting front today.