Copts mark high turnout in election, youth have different stances



Wed, 28 Mar 2018 - 01:58 GMT


Wed, 28 Mar 2018 - 01:58 GMT

Pope Tawadros II casts his vote in a close school to the Cathedral of Abbasiya- Press photo

Pope Tawadros II casts his vote in a close school to the Cathedral of Abbasiya- Press photo

CAIRO – 28 March 2018: While the Coptic Orthodox Church has called on Christians to participate in the presidential election that kicked off on Monday, the Copts still took different stances toward the election, between boycotting and voting.

Despite the lack of accurate figures, Coptic women and elderly people are frequently seen outside polling stations. Still, a large number of the Coptic youth preferred not to vote based on many considerations.

Pope Twadros II of Alexandria and the Patriarch of the See, St. Mark, cast his ballot early on the first day of voting in the polling station set up in the closest school to the Cathedral of Abbasiya.

Earlier, Pope Tawadros II urged Egyptians to “fulfill their duty” by taking part in the presidential election.

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Pope Tawadros II casts his vote in a close school to the Cathedral of Abbasiya- Press photo

Media outlets noticed the presence of several Orthodox bishops in the polling stations during the first and second days of the election to cast their votes. Patriarch of Alexandria of the Copt Catholic church, Ibrahim Ishak, cast his vote on the first day of election, calling on all Egyptians to vote “positively.”

Also, the deputy head of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, Royas Markes, cast his vote on the second day of the election, stating to Egypt Today that “voting in the election is the biggest proof of patriotism and those who abstain from voting are traitors to their country.”

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Deputy head of the Coptic Orthodox Pope of Alexandria, Royas Markes cast his vote in one of Alexandria’s polling station, 27 March 2018 – Egypt Today/Hanaa Abo elEz

Bishop Daniel, of the churches of Maadi, El Basatin and Dar El Salam, also cast his ballot on the second day of the presidential election, urging all Egyptians to participate in the polls.

“My beloved sons, everyone who loves his country has a national duty to vote in the election to preserve our security and ensure a better future for our children. Tomorrow is the last day of polls. Those who did not vote still have the chance,” Bishop Daniel said on Tuesday.

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Bishop Daniel, Bishop of Maadi Churches, cast his ballot in presidential election – Egypt Today

Coptic youth have different stances

Despite the church's repetitive calls to participate in the election, the Coptic youth still have different prospective; leaning toward boycott.

A 23-year-old Egyptian Coptic girl, who preferred to speak in a state of anonymity, said to Egypt Today that she boycotted the election.

“Sisi will win the race anyway; in addition Moussa is not a strong contender. I am 100 percent sure that Sisi will win, so why vote!”

When asked if she received orders from the church to vote, she said that “no one told me to vote, but I have heard from my friends that some churches have urged people to vote.” She added that “voting is not a religious duty.”

Marian, a 28-year old Coptic girl, said that she hasn't decided whether or not to vote until now, assuring that the church urges them to participate in the election.

“I went by my own will to vote without any orders from bishops; I see that voting is a national duty separate from religion,” Ebram Kamal, 25, told Egypt Today.

A 25-year graduate of faculty of Alsun, Marina Awdallah, said that she abstained from voting as she doesn’t have time: “the electoral committee is far from my home.”

Polling stations across Egypt opened their doors to voters for the third and last day of the presidential election. Egyptians are choosing between incumbent President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi and el-Ghad party chairperson Moussa Mostafa Moussa to rule the country for a four-year term.

The 2018 presidential election is the third poll to take place in Egypt since the January 2011 revolution.



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