Thursday 21 June 2012

“Only in Egypt” – some nonpareil happenings

From The World

This is my edited translation of Egyptian political analyst and talk show host Imad Adeeb’s column today for the Saudi daily Asharq Alawsat:
Only in Egypt do politicians dispute final results of the presidential elections.
Only in Egypt are some elections results forged by bribing staff at the print house officially designated to produce the ballot papers. Sounds like the script for an American detective suspense movie.
Only in Egypt would you find in ballot boxes more ballot papers than the number of registered voters at the polling station.
Only in Egypt would one of the two candidates in the presidential race announce the election’s final results one-third of the way into the vote count and before the Supreme Presidential Elections Committee (SPEC) had the chance to examine appeals filed by the two campaigns and to officially declare the winner.
Only in Egypt would the vote-buying rate reach $250 per gullible would-be voter.
Only in Egypt would an elected president assume office without knowing his presidential prerogatives in a country lacking a constitution and a parliament.
Only in Egypt would state institutions change weekly and dramatically from one Thursday to the next. On the previous Thursday, the country lacked a president but had a parliament. This Thursday, it has no parliament and no president. Next week, it will have a president but no parliament.
Only in Egypt would the regular army, which proved professional in managing state affairs over the past 20 months, assume the state’s legislative and executive powers. It then handed legislative powers to an elected parliament before retaking the legislative powers after disbanding parliament. Later this month, the army would hand over executive powers to the president-elect but keep hold of the legislative powers pending the election of a new parliament.
Only in Egypt would you find one thing and its opposite. You would find a revolution and a coup d’état, the supremacy of the law and attempts to flout it, the rule of justice and its travesty, the Arab world’s most transparent elections and a struggle over its final results.
That’s fascinating and unparalleled, indeed.