Presidential Elections Monitoring: Egypt Votes 2014

Note: This is an archived project. No substantial updates have been made to it since the summer of 2014, shortly after President Abdel-Fattah El Sisi was sworn in after winning the 2014 presidential election.

On May 26-27, Egypt will hold its second presidential election in three years. Since the 2011 revolution, the Egyptian people have voted on one president, two constitutions, and hundreds of parliamentarians, all with the hope of achieving the goals of the revolution: freedom, dignity, and justice. Later this month, Egyptians will once again line up at the polls to vote, this time for a new president. However, all these processes, while important in themselves, are confined within the narrow dimensions of procedural democracy. Over the past three years, many Egyptians have become increasingly disillusioned with the value of the ballot box as a guarantor of freedom and democracy. Nonetheless, Egyptians have not fallen back into the apathy that defined much of political life before the 2011 revolution, with the majority of the population still actively engaging in day-to-day politics. Whether this engagement is through campaigning, voting, resisting, boycotting or even offering cynical criticism, Egyptians are no longer silent, passive observers.

While many media outlets and commentators have shed light on particular facets of the campaigns and elections, we at the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy [TIMEP] present to you a comprehensive portal through which to view these developments via our unique Presidential Elections Monitoring initiative. With this portal, we endeavor to fill an important gap in coverage of the upcoming elections by providing cohesive, transparent, and balanced reporting and commentary. Our goals are to offer comprehensive insight into the elections as they occur as well as to provide critical analyses that illustrate the road ahead. In this crucial moment in Egypt’s democratic development, we understand that clarity of information is essential to promoting a free and fair electoral process. Although many believe that the outcome of the election is already clear, Egyptians in their home country, expatriates around the globe, and international observers will be watching it closely nonetheless. Our aim is to go beyond numerical results and provide comprehensive analysis of voting trends, with interpretive reviews of voters’ expectations and aspirations, to allow for a better understanding of why people vote for a particular candidate or choose not vote at all.

With this mission, the Presidential Elections Monitoring portal will provide daily assessments of campaign developments leading up to the election and timely information on the days of the elections. Following the elections, we will host analyses of the election process and what the results of the election bode for Egypt’s next president.

Located here on our website, you will find three main features:

Pre & Post Election Analysis: Approaching the election, TIMEP will release a series of commentary pieces speaking to key issues that influence voters. The articles will cover the themes of national security, the economy, protests and transitional justice, and campaign languages and promises, providing nuanced and balanced viewpoints on contentious issues.

Campaign & Media Monitoring: TIMEP will provide updates on each candidate’s campaign activity. Here you will find monitoring of media surrounding campaign rallies, coverage of candidate speeches and interviews, and social media coverage of Sisi and Sabahi campaign activities. Seeking to provide the most comprehensive data on both candidates, TIMEP will also feature pages highlighting their electoral programs and stances on major issues. Both candidates will also be featured in a “media tracker” timeline tracking their coverage in local and international media. On the election days, TIMEP will provide voting data and maps portraying candidate performance around the country.

Voters Pulse: On the days of the election, TIMEP will offer interviews from polling stations around the country to gauge voter sentiment and gather feedback on the voting experience. Our on-the-ground coverage of polling stations will highlight the perspectives of individual voters on their hopes, desires, and expectations of the new president.