Image 1 of 14: Changes in the parliamentary electoral law, manifestly a result of the revolution, include the modification of the minimum age:
The 'transitional' government approved the reduction in the minimum age for candidates from 30 to 25. The role played by
'youth' out in force in Tahrir, dominant through social media, may have encouraged this amendment.
Image 1 of 14: Caught between Tahrir and caretaker regime..There is a prominent dichotomy or a fraught binary between
the powers that will be, even post-SCAF- and the 'square': This tension or opposition can be reduced to the Radical left
versus the right (or military and old guard restored).
Image 1 of 14: The much-hyped West's 'bogey-man': The Muslim Brotherhood- have formed "The Freedom and Justice Party",
showing that radical Islam can bandy about freedom & justice as the best of them. They pledged to enter allied with the liberal
New Wafd Party-- a moderate right wing, elitest membership (who have since abandoned their Islamist 'brothers').
Image 1 of 14: The Muslim Brotherhood (MB) contestants to the elections are predicted to gain a lot of votes and popularity post-Tahrir, 2011
and should dominate a lot of seats.The "Al-Wasat Party", (Arabic for moderate or middle ground) leftist, liberal faction of the MB is one of many
firm components of the wider Islamist Egyptian umbrella.
Image 1 of 14: Egyptian Bloc: an alliance of liberal, secularist (as Nasri, of AbdelNasser's national project), and center-left parties,
as well as social organizations & labor unions; includes the traditional Islamic Sufi Liberation Party. This coalition
poses in the parliamentary elections as rivals to the MB, competing with their Freedom and Justice Party.
Image 1 of 14: Islamic alliance of Salafi parties: include the registered Nour, and yet unregistered Fadila and Asala parties - comprising
altogether six factions. These announced to contend as a united candidate list, all representing the right-wing in the Egyptian
Image 1 of 14: Five socialist political parties plus two syndicates formed the "Coalition of Socialist Forces party alliance" including one Islamist party,
the Egyptian Branch, and Egypt's Communist Party. Also known as "Revolution Still" - sprung up post
Tahrir and carrying much of the revolutionary elements - the seven members' symbol is the pyramid.
Image 1 of 14: The Shura Council elections are to follow on 22 January 2012. The Shura Council - or Consultative Council - is the upper
house of the Egyptian parliament, and so will be elected with these parliamentary elections split into three stages as they are.
Image 1 of 14: While there is no National Democratic Party (NDP) presence, Mubarak's old Guard have still found a way into the elections. Parties with a strong base of ex-NDP-ers include: the Egyptian Citizen Party, Renaissance Egypt, the Unity Party, the Nationalist Egypt Party, of Anwar Sadat's nephew (now deceased), and the Freedom Party, an NDP strong-hold.
Image 1 of 14: Free Egyptians Party (FEP): a liberal party and member of the Egyptian Bloc (see earlier slide).
Image 1 of 14: Justice Party-- 'Hizb al Adl' is a moderate member of the right wing, or a middle of right political party.
Image 1 of 14: ESDP: The Egyptian Social Democratic Party, or el-Ḥezb el-Maṣri el-Democrāṭi el-Egtmāʿi, are a left-wing moderate
partnership in the Egyptian Bloc.
Image 1 of 14: Coalition of the Youth of the Revolution: Not an political party but an off-shoot of a movement to emerge from the revolution.
Running in these parliamentary elections as part of "Revolution Still" together with the six other factions of this seven-bodied
alliance, they do have candidates for parliament as well as for the Shura council.
Image 1 of 14: Tahrir demands more departures, in an aggressive show of unwelcome:
The ousting of Aliaa Mahdy, the 'naked blogger', from the square- came ahead of today's show of elections. Mubarak may
have been the first departure but he is not the last to be unceremoniously expelled from this 'demanding' square.
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.
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:
- first stage: 28-29 November, run-off on 5 December
- second stage: 14 December, run-off on 21 December
- third stage: 3 January, run-off on 10 January
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.