Dutch comedian, author and television presenter Arjen Lubach during his television program ‘Zondag met Lubach’ – Photo courtesy of YouTube
CAIRO – 9 April 2018: Dutch comedian, author and television presenter Arjen Lubach raised a lot of controversy among social media users and the Egyptian community when he talked about Egyptian political affairs for the first time during his television program “Zondag met Lubach” on April 1.
The 30-minute program that aired on VPRO television network has never previously discussed any political issues, especially regarding Egypt, Dutch media sources told Egypt Today, which raised questions about why Lubach decided to start such a controversy on his show.
Lubach inappropriately ridiculed the Egyptian people during his show with no real reasons, which caused a wave of anger among social media users who wondered if there were other reasons for Lubach to offend Egyptians.
The Dutch sources said that Lubach’s attitude and show do not represent the relationship between Egypt and the Netherlands. Contrary to international observers’ reactions that proved the integrity of Egypt’s presidential election, the Dutch presenter claimed that the 2018 election was unorganized and that the turnout rate was weak.
President Sisi garnered 97.08 percent of valid votes in the presidential election in March, with more than 21.8 million people having voted for him. His competitor, Moussa Moustafa Moussa, received 656,534 votes, making up 2.9 percent of the valid ballots.
The turnout stood at 24,254,152, or 41.05 percent of 59,078,138 eligible voters.
In their statements, the sources added that Lubach’s show is at risk and that VPRO may not renew his contract, saying that the Dutch comedian was perhaps seeking more controversy in order to get another chance to renew his contract.
Lubach, who is not known to have clear political leanings, surprised all of his followers and fans, not just by talking about politics, but also by talking about Egypt’s election.
Without many choices left for Lubach, he might seek business financiers to rescue his weekly show. Meanwhile, the Dutch government has not commented on Lubach’s unjustified rant against the Egyptian people.
In the 2018 election, invalid votes made up only 7.27 percent of the total votes, accounting for 1.762 million ballots. If invalid votes are not excluded from the results, Sisi's share of the total votes would be 90 percent.
In a press conference on April 2, the National Elections Authority (NEA) announced the unsurprising figures, and its head, Judge Lachine Ibrahim, applauded the turnout of Egyptian expats abroad and the judicial supervision of the poll.
Similarly, in the 2014 vote, 23.4 million people voted for Sisi, invalid votes accounted for 1 million ballots, and Hamdeen Sabahy amassed 740,000 votes.
According to a tweet by the Foreign Ministry spokesperson, international missions that observed the election have praised it.
Eissa Abdel Rahman, director of the documentation department at the Community of Sahel-Saharan States (CEN-SAD), told Egypt Today on March 28, the last day of the election, that security outside polling stations kept voters reassured and that judges have been cooperative and answered all observers’ questions.
He added that ballot boxes were secured and well-sealed, praising the NEA's cooperation with his mission.