Vänsterframgångar i det egyptiska valet

I skuggan av de två kandidater, Mohamed el-Morsi (Muslimska bördraskapet) och Ahmed Shafiq (Mubarak-man), som gått vidare till den andra omgången i det egyptiska presidentvalet har en stor framgång för vänstern kunnat noteras. I Kairo, Alexandria och Port Said fick vänsterkandidaten Hamdeen Shabbahi flest röster av alla. Han är vänsternasserist, nationalist, antisionist, antiimperialist och sekulär. Han har en lång historia av opposition mot regimen, satt i fängelse redan under Sadats tid vid makten, och rörde sig bland massorna på gatan under de 18 dagarna då Thahrir var ockuperat. Shabbahi är mycket populär bland bondebefolkningen i stora av Nildeltat och har gjort sig känd som företrädare för deras kamp.

Sabbahi fick sitt största stöd i arbetar- och slumområden och på sin hemmaplan i centrala delar av deltat. Områden där islamisterna tidigare varit starka. Den största islamistiska organisationen Brödraskapet har tappat i inflytande sen parlamentsvalen, el-Morsi fick 25% vilket jämfört Brödraskapets 46% i parlamentsvalet är en kraftig tillbakagång. I Alexandria kom i sjölva verket vänsterkandidater på de två första platserna, för efter Sabbahi kom Abdel-Moneim Abul-Fotouh:

The fresh sea breeze, the sweeping victory of Nasserist candidate Hamdeen Sabbahi, one of the faces of the January 25 Revolution, and the well-organised election, all made my day.

Alexandria, Egypt’s second city with a population of 10 million, backed Sabbahi (34 per cent), followed by moderate Islamist and ex- Muslim Brother Abdel-Moneim Abul-Fotouh (22 per cent), and Mubarak’s former foreign minister Amr Moussa (16.5 per cent).

[…]

I attended the vote counting in the working class district of Ras El-Teen. My heart almost stopped when the presiding judge counted almost 3500 votes for Sabbahi alone, whilst the remaining 1000 votes were split between Abul-Fotouh, Amr Moussa and a few for Ahmed Shafiq. Representatives of the other candidates watched the count open mouthed.

I found similar results coming from all over the coastal city. Sabbahi swept the election in Alexandria.

I spent the night moving from one counting station to another and all backed the Nasserist. The judges were surprised yet everyone seemed happy with the result. One judge joked that “women voted for him because he said he would appoint a female vice president, you women are very easily bought.”

As I made my way back to the hotel, the streets that had been empty by day were now packed with people coming out of cinemas and restaurants in the downtown Al-Raml district.

I overheard one guy says that ”if Shafiq wins, it will be as if the past year and a half never happened.”

Early in the morning, I met a group of activists who had been up all night monitoring the ballot count. They were proud of their city’s revolutionary results:  ”Even though I boycotted the polls, I am so proud of the people’s choice. I am very happy that the label ”the Salafist and Brotherhood city” no longer applies to Alexandria,” said Mahyenour El-Masri of the Revolutionary Socialists.

Abul-Foutoh har stötts av många vänsterorganisationer, men det var Sabbahis om fick framgångar i valet. På ett program som står nära revolutionens huvudfåra och utan islamism. Även i Kairo segrade Sabbahi vilket jagg redan nämnt, men där med Shafiq som tvåa:

In Cairo, Sabbahi again came first by a wide margin, winning 34.6 per cent of the vote, followed by Shafiq (25.9 per cent), Mursi (21.1 per cent) and finally Abul-Fotouh (19.2 per cent).

[…]

Take also such cases as that of the densely populated and horribly destitute Cairo district of Imbaba. During the 90s of the last century, Imbaba had come under the sway of the militant Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya to such an extent that it was widely named the Islamic Republic of Imbaba. When the police finally, and with predictably tremendous viciousness, crushed the Gamaa by the end of that decade, it was natural for the district to be inherited by the Brotherhood.

Imbaba results in the first round of the post-revolution presidential elections in 2012 had Sabbahi in first place (32.2 per cent) followed by: Shafiq (23.2 per cent); Mursi (18.3 per cent); Abul-Fotouh (14.7 per cent). All of which seems to support that not only was the Muslim Brotherhood’s support waning, but that in fact there was something of a backlash against the group.

Which seems to explain yet another surprising result of this election. Abul-Fotouh, who the polls had running neck and neck for first place with Moussa, dropped to fourth place in the actual results, following Sabbahi who came third. In fact, Abul-Fotouh seems to have been tarred with the same brush as Moussa, his TV debate counterpart.  Here too we have a case of a candidate trying to appeal to everyone, losing him the trust of many.

Even before his expulsion from the Muslim Brotherhood, Abul-Fotouh had associated himself with the revolution and its ideals from the very beginning. Under his presidential campaign banner, he was able to gather a kind of ”rainbow coalition”, made up of Islamists, liberals and even leftists.

Yet just as Moussa tried to appeal to both the revolutionary and counter-revolutionary constituencies, Abul-Fotouh spoke to liberals and democrats from one side of his mouth, and to Salafists and conservative Islamists from the other. In his televised debate with Moussa he kept repeating that he stood not for the application of the ”principles” of sharia, as Moussa was suggesting, but its ”totality”, whatever that means.

I valkampanjen har Sabbahi lutat sig på bönder och arbetare. Trots att en mer revolutionärt marxistisk kandidat med kopplingar till fackföreningar deltog i presidentvalet, Khaled Ali, ställde sig organiserade arbetargrupper i stället bakom Sabbahi, bl. a. för att han tryckt stenhårt på rätten att strejka (som militären, Shafiq och Brödraskapet alla motsätter sig). Social rättvisa har varit hans huvudkrav.  Han har talat om behovet av ”statskapitalism”/blandekonomi, med åternationalisering av privatiserade företag, högre minimilön, arbetsrätt. 

Sabbahis framgångar räckte inte hela vägen. Han kom trea, men det kanske bådar gott inför framtiden.

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PS. I första citatet på engelska intervjuas Mahyenour El-Masri. Hon kommer till Socialistiska Partiets sommarläger i år.

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