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98.1% Approval For Egypt’s New Constitution?

2014 January 18
by Ian Welsh

Is anyone stupid enough to believe this demonstrates the will of the Egyptian people?

Exactly 98.1% of Egyptians said yes to the new constitution in this week’s referendum. The outlawed Muslim brotherhood says it does not recognize the vote, which saw some 20 million, or over 38% of registered voters, participate.

Outlaw the most popular political party, get less than 40% turnout (and who knows if it was even that), and declare yourself winners?  And have the Western press echo your propaganda?

98.1%?  Could they at least try to pretend the vote was representative? This is USSR style “democracy”.

17 Responses
  1. Everythings Jake permalink
    January 19, 2014

    How to combat the propaganda? It seems to me this is one of the chief problems to be solved.

  2. Cliff permalink
    January 19, 2014

    Wow! Pravda was a bit more restrained than this, back in the day. It’s chilling to see this kind of a headline in the ‘western’ press. But I’m getting used to it. That’s the really bad news.

  3. Celsius 233 permalink
    January 19, 2014

    And we care, why? IMO, this isn’t worth the electrons it takes to post.
    Any emotion lost on this is lost on me.
    It rather pales when one realizes/comprehends the vote rigging, corruption, lies, spying and looting of America by its elite.
    We’re left a paupers existence; fuck Egypt. Hell, screw the world; look homeward and weep…

  4. Formerly T-Bear permalink
    January 19, 2014

    Probably reusing those votes that made McCain President.

  5. Stormcrow permalink
    January 19, 2014



    That’s not propaganda. That’s an outright declaration:

    “You will accept this new ‘constitution’. Because the alternative will range anywhere from arrest and the obligatory beating, to getting shot in the head.”

  6. January 19, 2014

    Yeah. The choice of this sort of number was deliberate. They were telegraphing that the new regime will not tolerate dissent. That the experiment is over.

  7. January 19, 2014

    I don’t know… Primary elections in this country usually run about 40% participation, and the results are often in the 90% range. For Senator in California there were 14 candidates, as I recall, in a non-partisan primary, and Feinstein got 92% of the vote. We regarded that as legitimate.

    Sure, we don’t take primaries very seriously, which is a big part of why our government is is the toilet. Maybe Eygptians don’t take constitutions very seriously. When has one ever been honored in their country? For that matter, how good are we at honoring ours?

  8. Ian Welsh permalink
    January 19, 2014

    I grant on the 40% bit. Heck, the last referendum had lower turnout.

    However, when you’ve outlawed the party which won the last election, you can’t say the referendum is fair, and this isn’t a primary. The last constitution got 63% support, when supported by the largest party in the country.

    This one got 98.1% when opposed by the largest party.


  9. January 19, 2014

    Here’s the thing. Egypt is a country the majority of whose subjects (citizens?) are relatively conservative Muslims—a fact only strengthened by the impression that conservative Islam is THE starkest form of objecting to the regime that there is. In a democratic Egypt, you are NOT going to get a Constitution that respects “Western values” or whatever right off the bat. A religiously-guided state is what you’re going to get.

    I’m not a fan of the kinds of restrictions on women and minorities that the MB wants to institute, but the alternative was always going to be worse—violent suppression of the majority, or at least a huge chunk of Egyptian society. And the sense that they have to rid Egypt of Copts to institute the Kingdom of Heaven has only been reinforced.

    I’m just unloading here and preaching to the choir (hate doing that normally).

  10. January 19, 2014

    I wasn’t suggesting it was legitimate. I was suggesting that since we are a pot we ought not be calling the kettle black.

  11. markfromireland permalink
    January 19, 2014

    Now, now, you’re not entering into the proper spirit of the thing. Everyone knows that when the largest party and the second largest grouping refuse to have anything to do with with your referendum that they’re being anti-democaratic, anti-Egyptian, and American stooges.* The Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafists are illegal, immoral, and fattening, and that’s before we get to the fact that they’re liver eating terrorists who get their funding directly from Ariel Sharon Bibi Nethanyahu. Shame on you for not loudly proclaiming something that is so blatantly axiomatic Ian.


    * Yes really. There is no conspiracy theory so ludicrous that it won’t be immediately believed with considerable fervour by vast swathes of the Egyptian population and for several months regime spokesmen have been pushing the line that every Ikhwani’s dearest desire is to fellate first Uncle Sam and the Avigdor Lieberman. In recent months reading the Egyptian papers (on those occasions when I can be bothered) has caused me to alternately giggle helplessly and gasp in amazement at the baroque splendour of the conspiracies being unmasked.

  12. guest permalink
    January 19, 2014

    Why is it every one is so sure that all Muslims support MB. I myself didn’t trust the results when they won. It is well known fact that they buy votes any way they can. But I agree that number must have been chosen for a reason.

  13. Ian Welsh permalink
    January 19, 2014

    On those occassions when our elections seem dubious, I have called them out.

  14. S Brennan permalink
    January 19, 2014

    ….While early polls showed nearly 451% in favor, votes gathered from the hinterlands diluted that a bit…to a mere 98.1%…

  15. January 20, 2014

    Bill H:
    You can’t compare the two. As much as I despise DiFi it takes a lot of money to run a competitive race in CA. Those other candidates in the primary are Larouche-ites and other goofballs just having fun getting their name on the ballot.

  16. markfromireland permalink
    January 21, 2014

    @ guest January 19, 2014

    Why is it every one is so sure that all Muslims support MB.

    Awwwwww c’mon can’t you do better than that? Nobody is saying that “all Muslims support MB”. The fact that a majority of the Egyptian electorate voted for them however is another matter entirely. The fact that the elected government was overthrown in a military coup is also another matter. As is the fact that this military junta has claimed that 98.1% approval for their constitution which has been very carefully written to outlaw what the majority of the Egyptian electorate had previously voted for .

    I myself didn’t trust the results when they won. It is well known fact that they buy votes any way they can.

    Would you care to provide some evidence for this assertion?


  17. Blizzard permalink
    January 21, 2014

    @Phil Perspective
    Say what you want about the LaRouchites: they’re smart, and principled; and actually their presence gives the lie to your notion that there are no alternatives to the Republocrat uniparty.

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