السبت، أبريل 18، 2009

Terms of Endearment

Mubarak Gets Only 39%

Support on His Own


Facebook Fan Page




By:
Wael Nawara


On his own Facebook fan page, only 39% of those who participated in a poll that is hosted on the same page said they would vote for Mubarak for another term (a 6th Term), while 52% said they would not elect him and 7% were undecided. The fan page has only about 1,284 fans. To put this in perspective, Amr Mousa, Egyptian ex-Foreign Minister, currently serving as Secretary General for the Arab League, has 4,626 fans, Ayman Nour who came second in 2005 Egyptian Presidential Elections and who has just been released from jail, has 817 fans on his page, King Abdullah of Jordan has over 23 thousand fans while Barack Obama has over 6 million fans. Nancy Ajram, a Lebonese female Singer has over 151 thousand fans and Amr Diab, an Egyptian male singer has 115 thousand fans.


The poll on Mubarak's fan page asked this question: “Will you vote for President Honsi Mubarak for another Term?”. Seeing results of the poll, Egyptian Facebookers comments were hilarious. Someone said, "I was born and he (Mubarak) is a president, I just have one wish. On the day of my death, I hope he is not a president". Another said, “Is there still in the bag yet another term?”. Mubarak has been in office for the past 28 years, since 1981. About 60% of Egyptians have never known another President. Mubarak, who is 81 years old, has recently “vowed” to stay in office as long as he breathes! “As long as my heart beats, I will stay”, were his very words in an address to the Egyptian People's Assembly, widely dominated by members of his ruling party the NDP. The honorable members applauded this announcement of their boss who is "promising" to stay as a president till the very last pulse as if it was a precious gift. Mubarak celebrates his 81st birthday on the coming 4th of May.



Youth of the 6th April movement vowed to give him a host of birthday gifts this year. Last year, 6th April youth called for a general strike on 4th May 2008 to commemorate Mubarak’s 80th Birthday and protest sky-rocketing prices and high rates of inflation. Mubarak made a pre-emptive strike by announcing a 30% increase in wages to curb the strike. Because of this and other factors, the 4th May 2008 strike was not as successful as the 6th 2008 April strike which was also a novelty. The sequel strikes, including that on 6th April 2009, which was declared as “Day of Rage”, never seemed to match the original strike in intensity. The fact that the government had to increase the wages and respond to many of the strikers’ demands is surely seen as a sign of success. The success of 6th April strike of 2008 is also seen as a milestone and a sign of change to come, that a few individuals using viral communication and social utility tools like the Facebook can break the state-owned media blackout, amass great popular support and exert critical political pressure on authoritarian regimes.


The level of support for Mubarak’s next term (39%) is probably higher than the real level of support, since the Poll is hosted on Mubarak’s own fan page. There are about one million Egyptians using Facebook out of about 10 millions who have “some” access to the Internet one way or another. In a recent online poll conducted on this blog, 89% of participants thought that the “People’s Assembly” does not truly represent them as Egyptians. So, I would say congratulations are in order for the President.





See the page and the poll result before they are removed. Snap-shot taken on April 18th 2009, at noon, Cairo Local Time:


http://www.facebook.com/pages/-/27537274055#/pages/-/27537274055?v=wall&viewas=691420567




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