In a few months, Egypt will undergo its first Post-Mubarak presidential elections. Barring no new entrants in the race after registration starts on the 10th of March, and everything else remaining constant, here is an analysis of how this thing will go down.
The Candidates Categories:
Ex-Mubarak Regime: Includes Ahmed Shafiq, the ex-Mubarak Prime Minister; Amr Moussa, the ex-Mubarak Foreign minister; Hossam Khairallah, an ex- high ranking official in Mubarak’s Intelligence.
Islamists pretending to be liberals: Includes AbdelMoneim Aboulfotouh and Selim Elawwa , both ex-Muslim Brotherhood.
The Salafis: Hazem Salah Abu Ismael.
Ex-Mubarak Regime: In that category, and given the sorry state of his campaign, Mr. Khairallah is slated to get maybe half a million votes. Ahmed Shafiq, who, for some unfathomable reason beyond my comprehension has a relatively high level of popularity, will get maybe 2 million votes. Thus leaving Amr Moussa, who has the highest level of name recognition and money, estimated to get at least 10 million votes, thus emerging as the real winner in that category.
Islamists pretending to be liberals: Selim Elawwa has no real base of support, so he will maybe get a half a million votes, so he is also out from round one. Aboulfotouh is slated to get the votes of religious centrists, ex-Baradei supporters, a contingent of the revolutionaries that believe- for some reason- he is one of them, and the mid-cadres inside the Muslim brotherhood, who will not openly support him, but will vote for him, since he was their mentor, literally. This amount will round –up to about 8 million votes that Aboulfotouh should get, and thus cementing his status as the winner in that category as well.
The Salafis: The salafi vote is estimated to be around 9 million votes, but so far the salafi parties have not endorsed Abu Ismail, and we still don’t know if the Noor Party has a candidate of their own, thus splintering the salafi vote. But if everything remained constant, and no other salafi candidate emerges, Abu Islamail will get the 9 million votes.
This leaves us with two possible scenarios:
Scenario A is one where Abu Islamil gets no competitors for the salafi vote, so he and Amr Moussa end up going to the run-off round, at which point the Abulfotouh votes get splintered almost evenly between the two candidates, and Moussa gets all of the ex-Mubarak regime votes on top of this, so he ends up being the winner, and Egypt’s next President.
Scenario B is one where Abu Ismail gets a competitor, splintering the salafi vote, and leaving the run-off between Moussa and Aboulfotouh, at which point the salafi vote will go to Abulfotouh, so he ends up being the winner and Egypt’s next President.
And thus, if no super-candidate shows up in the last minute and no political fiasco ends up exploding in the middle of the race, we end up being with one of two Presidents: A salafi-backed Muslim Brotherhood President, or an Ex-Mubarak Hack President.
Doesn’t that just leave you super excited for this election?