May 28, 2014

General Sisi Disappoints At The Polls, Egyptian State Media Loses Its Mind, Syrian Regime Gets A Vote of Confidence, And Assad Is Looking Like $327 Million Bucks

1. An excerpt from, "Lower Egypt voter turnout threatens Sisi mandate" by Yasmine Saleh and Michael Georgy, Reuters, May 28, 2014:
Turnout was 44.4 percent of Egypt's 54 million voters, according to the judicial sources.

That would be less than the 40 million votes, or 80 percent of the electorate, that Sisi had called for last week.

The lower than expected turnout figure raises questions about Sisi's credibility as leader of the Arab world's most populous nation.

It would also suggest that he had failed to rally the overwhelming support he hoped for after toppling Egypt's first freely elected president, Islamist Mohamed Mursi, following street protests last year.
2. An excerpt from, "Egypt Extends Vote In Desperate Attempt to Raise Turnout" by Jason Ditz,, May 27, 2014:
The unanimously pro-Sisi state media is livid, likely because they pre-shot celebratory pieces about a landslide victory can’t be used, and are railing against non-voters, with one major television commentator suggesting non-voters should be shot for abusing the state holiday, which was supposed to be meant for voting.
3. An excerpt from, "Syrian expats divided over presidential vote" by Basma Atassi, Areej Abuqudairi, Al Jazeera, May 28, 2014:
This was not an ordinary voting day. It was a parade of Syrians celebrating their embattled president and expressing support for him in the battle to quell the uprising that erupted against his rule three years ago.

Since early morning, tens of thousands of Syrians flocked to the heavily fortified area surrounding the Syrian embassy in Lebanon as expatriate voting began ahead of the June 3 presidential election.

With some of Lebanon's one million Syrian residents and refugees trying to cast their votes, this was the most visible mass gathering the country has witnessed in the past few years and possibly, the largest-ever gathering of Syrians outside their country. 
4. An excerpt from, "Syrian and Egyptian elections" by the Angry Arab, May 28, 2014:
There are so many misconceptions spread by Western media about the Arab world. In the last two days, two were shattered: 1) that Sisi was going to sweep the election in Egypt and that he has wide support. 2) judging by the scenes of Syrians flocking to the Syrian embassy to vote, support for Bashshar Al-Asad has always been disregarded by Western media.  Furthermore, while the election in Syria is a sham, it has not necessarily been perceived as such by all Syrians.  The reason however has to do with the desire to return to their homes.  The Syrian armed groups and the exile opposition failed to inspire hope among the refugees (or many of them) regarding their ability to restore order to Syria (regardless whether you think that Bashshar can or can't d that).  So many of the assumptions of Western media coverage of Syria have been shattered today.  Lebanon is the only place where the host government can't impose the intimidation tactics on potential Syrian voters as in other Arab or Western countries and those scenes should be studied.
5. An excerpt from, "Why Syrians in Lebanon voted" by the Angry Arab, May 28, 2014:
It is quite amusing to watch Western correspondents in Beirut on Twitter scrambling to find theories to explain the unpleasant (for them) footage of throngs of Syrians voting in Lebanon at the Syrian embassy.  (One even wondered if Syrians are voting in other places in Lebanon as if the Syrian embassy has consulates around the country).  Every hour you see another theory introduced.  Many of them simply copy the propaganda spin of March 14 media (their latest tale is that Hizbullah members are voting--kid you not but you have to excuse March 14 media today, they went ballistic all day today as the scenes defied their expectations and desires).  The Syrian ambassador in Lebanon in fact was candid when he said that they did not anticipate those numbers and that they were ill-prepared and did not even had enough ballot boxes.  By the way, did you see pictures of Syrians voting in Stockholm? Were those Hizbullah as well? Now I know why France, US, UAE and other countries banned Syrians from voting.  I guess the cult of voting is a Western ritual to be celebrated except in those cases when voting goes against US agenda.  Al-Mayadin TV is reporting that some 250,000 Syrians in Lebanon voted.
6. An excerpt from, "Russia to Offer $327Mln in Free Financial Aid to Syria" RIA Novosti, May 28, 2014:
Russia has pledged Syria financial aid worth 240 million euro (around 327 million dollars) this year to help run social programs, Russia’s Kommersant newspaper cited a high-ranking official in Moscow.

“Syrian authorities are to receive 240 million euros worth of help this year, it is a confirmed figure,” the source said. He added, the decision to throw Damascus a lifeline came on Syria’s request.
Video Title: Egypt vote extends into third day after low turnout reports. Source: AFP. Date Published: May 28, 2014:

Video Title: Lebanon: Syrians flock to vote in presidential election. Source: Ruptly TV. Date Published: May 28, 2014: