Alhurra, Radio Sawa and MBN’s digital properties provided extensive coverage of the Egyptian presidential race between incumbent Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and politician Moussa Mustafa Moussa. Alhurra hosted analysts and experts to discuss the government’s crackdown of the media in the country and the exclusion of potential candidates. The network produced hour-long specials on the first and last day of voting (March 26-28th) to provide viewers with expert opinions from Egyptian and American analysts.
Much of the discussion highlighted Egypt’s human rights abuses, including reports on the U.S. Congress decision to withhold $300 million in aid pending confirmation from the Secretary of State that Egypt is making progress in fulfilling its human rights commitments. Coverage also focused on U.S./Egyptian relations; as well as what is being written in the American press about the Egyptian elections.
With Sisi expected to win overwhelmingly, Alhurra interviewed voters from Cairo, Giza, Alexandria and Minya during the three days of voting, garnering wide ranging views about the election, from it being “an exercise in futility” to those who said “Sisi brings stability that is needed.” It looked at the those who are absent from the Egyptian ballot including liberals, Islamists, leftists, as well as the marginalization of the youth only seven years after the Egyptian revolution.
Alhurra.com explored how Egypt’s presidential election had low turnout and predictable results, even though the Egyptian government threatened to fine anyone who did not vote. It also examined daily life in Cairo on the first day of the voting, as well as interviewing a family that lives on a small fishing boat on the Nile River and what they expect from the election.
Radio Sawa updated listeners through its newscasts and feature programs. Sawa Magazine discussed how five years after Sisi lead a military coup that toppled the country’s first democratically elected leader, he is poised to be reelected with virtually no opposition. Sawa Magazine also surveyed reactions on social media during the voting period.