Advancing a Free Society

Egypt's Sham Election

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

By Daniel Pipes and Cynthia Farahat

According to Egypt’s elections committee, the Muslim Brotherhood won 37 percent of the vote of the first round of voting in Egypt, and the Salafis, who promote a yet more extreme Islamist program, won 24 percent, giving them together a jaw-dropping 61 percent of the vote.

This stunning result prompts two questions: Is this a legitimate or rigged outcome? Are Islamists about to dominate Egypt?

Legitimate or rigged? No one took seriously Soviet elections with their inevitable 99 percent returns for the Communists, and, while the process and outcome of the Egyptian elections are less blatant, they deserve similar skepticism. The game is more subtle, but it’s still a game, and here is how it’s played:

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