The three former presidential candidates, Hamdeen Sabahy, Abdel Moneim Abolfotoh and Khaled Ali have finally joined hands to lead three marches at 4 pm today towards Tahrir in protest of Ahmed Shafik’s presidential bid.
Why haven’t they managed to unite five months ago and save everyone the trouble? The elections’ results would have been strikingly different.
I remember when interviewing Ali last April, about a month before the elections, he had told me he would take a backseat in the race if Abolfotoh, Abou El Ezz El Hariri, Hesham Bastawisy, Sabahy and Ayman Nour united. “I wish they would unite and put forth one candidate, because this will be important for the Revolution,” he told Egypt Today in our interview .
Ali never allied with anyone, neither did any of the 13 candidates that made it to the elections.
We had three leftist candidates, three Islamist candidates and two candidates associated with the previous regime. Thirteen candidates ran the race, none of them aimed to form any alliances whatsoever. Everyone was hoping, for instance, that Sabahy and Abolfotoh would unite, others hoped Shafik and Moussa would.
Revolutionaries were divided, pro-stability voters were divided and Islamists were divided — all because none of the candidates could get past their egos and forge an alliance with another to guarantee a good share of the voters.
None of the candidates could have secured enough votes to win without a run-off, and each of the candidates knew there were others with similar platforms and directions they could have easily united with. But none have.
Even after the elections’ results came out, Abolfotoh, Sabahy and Ali proudly announced they wouldn’t form alliances with anyone. The three firmly confirmed they wouldn’t ally with anyone.
Only they decided to finally ally after they were out of the presidential race and the nation was left with two very polarizing choices. They decided to collaborate after the public opinion became strikingly divided, controversy broke off, many voters decided not cast their votes in the run-offs at all and others were left disappointed with the country in general.
I am not a supporter of any of the three candidates, but I sure would have liked to have seen more strategizing, more unities and collaboration between the candidates for the sake of voters and the country. Things could have been very different had some of them gave in, conquered their egos and ran as vice presidents or advisors in united fronts that is bound to secure more votes.
I disagree with their cause for the marches, applying the political isolation law to ban Shafik from the race, I don’t think it is remotely constitutional and I think it’s merely a reaction for Shafik’s success — not a matter of principal. I wonder why they haven’t taken that strong an action before Shafik actually won the race and only decided to do so when he made it to the run-offs and they didn’t.
Perhaps they underestimated Shafik’s chance in winning, or perhaps they overestimated Abolfotoh’s. Either way, if they felt that strongly about it, maybe they should have collaborated and taken action before Shafik and Mohamed Morsi made it to the run-offs.
But in the true fashion of Egyptians, they decided to spring into action when things get bad. We never act as precautionary measures, always as reactions — only this time, it is a little too late for the three candidates. et