Egyptian Islamist stronghold buzzes with election fervor

News article, posted 05.22.2012, from Alexandria, Egypt, in:
Reem Abdellatif
Egyptian Islamist stronghold buzzes with election fervor (Photo: Al-Masry Al-Youm)

ALEXANDRIA — The day before Egyptians vote for the country's first civilian president, Alexandria voters cannot stop discussing the elections. With feelings of hope mixed with worry, voters continue debating the possible outcomes while hoping that the next president will be able to deliver on promises of economic and social prosperity. 

Although the coastal city is known as the hub for the country's Salafi movement and the Muslim Brotherhood, there are powerful trends in the city against the idea of having both an Islamist president and Parliament, as Islamists dominate 70 percent of seats in the legislature.

Caravans supporting the Muslim Brotherhood's contender, Mohamed Morsy, a college professor and former chairman of the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party, have had a strong presence across Alexandria every day over the past weeks. 

But, despite a well-organized and funded campaign, his support in the streets of Alexandria has dwindled, along with support for the Muslim Brotherhood. 

"The first thing they did in Parliament was fight over who would be the speaker," said Hassan Osman, a 50 year-old taxi driver. "I can't stomach them anymore since they began to use religion to sell themselves; that is why I am voting for [Amr] Moussa, he's a statesman and he knows how to handle Israel and America," he added. 

Many voters say they have learned their lesson when it comes to trusting the Muslim Brotherhood, who is known for flip-flopping on its political decisions.


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