How Egypt’s Gen. al-Sisi Won TIME’s Person of the Year Poll

Egyptian news sites kept readers updated on how Sisi was faring against Turkey's Erdogan

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Mohamed Abd El Ghany / Reuters

Anti-Mursi protestors hold a poster of General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in Tahrir Square in Cairo, on July 3, 2013.

When TIME announced on Thursday that Egypt’s Defense Minister, Gen. Abdul Fattah al-Sisi, had topped TIME’s 2013 Person of the Year poll with more than 440,000 votes his supporters were triumphant. Ahmed Abu Hashima, an Egyptian steel magnate and Sisi supporter, was one of the first to publicly congratulate Sisi on Twitter. Writing in Arabic, he called the victory an, “appreciation for [Sisi's] national role and the love of Egyptians towards him.”

Sisi’s success reflected the genuine popularity of a man who led what was essentially a military coup in July against the democratically elected government of then President Mohammed Morsi. Sisi remains the most powerful political figure in Egypt. The win was driven by hundreds of thousands of votes from inside Egypt; the country of about 85 million provided more votes than more populous nations like India and the United States. Many of those voters came via websites like Alwafd.org, one of the several Egyptian news portals that drove voters to the poll. These included youm7.com and el-balad.com. These sites tracked the voting throughout the week and informed readers when voting would close and how close the gap was between Sisi and the person who came second, Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

(POLLSee how our readers voted)

TIME’s Person of the Year is chosen by the magazine’s editors and will be announced on Wednesday, Dec. 11. Part of the Sisi vote may have been driven by a desire among his supporters to sway the editors’ decision. An article earlier this week in El-Balad linked to the online poll page and asked, “Would (the editors) listen to Egyptian votes and select their Defense Minister as the man of the year for 2013 so his picture could be printed on the cover of the world’s most famous magazine in its annual issue?”

Al-Wafd in particular has made no secret of its Sisi cheerleading. The website and newspaper are extensions of the Wafd Party, an opposition party that has been heavily pro-military and critical of Morsi’s allies in the Muslim Brotherhood. Wafd strongly backed Sisi’s ouster of Morsi. Wafd Party president Sayed Al-Badawi has already endorsed the widely-rumored idea of Sisi running for president next year.

“It wasn’t an organized campaign. But the voting did come from certain news outlets. These are all newspapers that back the direction of the country and the secular trend,” said Moustafa Shafiq, managing editor for Al-Wafd. “People feel very strongly and I’m sure there was a lot of repeat voting.”

A survey of the most prominent pro-Sisi Facebook pages in Arabic and English doesn’t reveal a massive organized get-out-the-vote campaign. Most users simply linked to the poll and later noted its results with satisfaction in growing numbers of comments. Months after the military takeover, the results suggest Sisi’s popular support has staying power. “He’s a man who represents the will of the people,” ­said Shafiq. (The result also suggest that the Internet remains a key factor in Egyptian politics. Social media played a key role in the 2011 revolution that ousted then President Hosni Mubarak.)

(LISTSee how the candidates fared when they faced off)

Part of the motivation for Sisi voters may also have been a desire among supporters of the military to change the image of the military takeover. Many backers of the military coup have felt misunderstood and unfairly judged by Western governments, human rights organizations and correspondents.

A spokesman for the Egyptian military, speaking on condition that his name not be published, said the Sisi votes were proof of the enduring social support for the military’s actions and Sisi’s leadership in general.

“This doesn’t tell us anything that Egyptians did not already know. But perhaps it is a good time for the whole world to see it clearly,” he said.

In less than a year Sisi has become a household name with his face appearing on T-shirts, banners and chocolates. But the true level of his popularity can only be tested at the voting booth. Speculation as to his intentions has been a media obsession in Egypt for months. The elections are set for sometime in the first half of 2014, pending ratification of a new constitution.

MOREEgypt’s Sisi Wins Reader Poll for TIME Person of the Year

519 comments
WaleedAwadalla
WaleedAwadalla

El SiSi Saved Egypt from Muslims brotherhood (( terrorism ))

ZebergaDendir
ZebergaDendir

How a healthy mind nominates a killer as a man of a year. Really, it is shameful for Egyptians!

juliefax99
juliefax99

Al-Sisi saved Egypt from terror and further chaos. God bless him.

MohamedHassan2
MohamedHassan2

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eWGXGeF6ZTU

Muslim Brotherhood member using a fire extinguisher while Aljazeera airs fake news about army using tear gas inside AlFateh Mosque. Aljazeera has been known for spreading lies about Egypt and Syria in favor of Islamists, and against the nations' armies. LOOK TO THE MOST VIDEOS OF MUSLIMS BROTHERHOOD WHICH CLASSIFIED AS TERRORISM ORGANISATION YOU WILL FIND ALL OF THEM FROM ALJAZEERA 

AbuAbdul
AbuAbdul

@WaleedAwadalla  The dictator SISI committed a genocide to Egypt’s education system …..

Only in the era of Sisi bloody coups, Thugs and Policemen, supervising, helping their slaves in cheating and collecting answers sheets of final exams for universities students!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

http://youtu.be/yHwtZmd8FYg

AbuAbdul
AbuAbdul

@juliefax99   ..............................  @juliefax99 you are such a typical military dictatorship slave ........ pathetic ........ you need soldiers' shoes to eat them on breakfast every day (try this military's prescription and you will be fine in another 50 years or so)


http://youtu.be/PiZFJgj4ZrU

AbuAbdul
AbuAbdul

@juliefax99  The dictator SISI committed a genocide to Egypt’s education system …..

Only in the era of Sisi bloody coups, Thugs and Policemen, supervising, helping their slaves in cheating and collecting answers sheets of final exams for universities students!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

http://youtu.be/yHwtZmd8FYg

AbuAbdul
AbuAbdul

@juliefax99  Father crying after he was asked to take his neonate from a charity hospital. The service was for free for the needy but not anymore after the military coup regime decided to freeze assets of NGO's.


http://youtu.be/osNBW9M4POo

ZebergaDendir
ZebergaDendir

@juliefax99 Allah does not assist evil doers. Allah's curse be on you and your Fascist leader.  A perpetrator never saved. Now he is doing street drama to blame and kill the innocents. This is  dirty African politics.

AmrAlaa
AmrAlaa

there is not even one Army soldier you know that ?!!

and all these event from 2007 before even the revolution and what u see and very very sad about them are whores, drug dealers, thieves

you know what  i don't approve their ways but you won't know their importance until you lose them 

in 2011 after 28 Jan the withdrawal of the cops made Egypt live in terror you know why because of the people that you r defending in this video 

brutality ?!!  when it come to my family's safety I'd do even worse than this you r no difference !!

just lose the safety in you region not in your whole country and you would lose your mind don't speak out of watching TV whether (Al-Jazera-CBC-Alhayat....etc) their words aren't  right


you know I'm a college student at Cairo university  we can't continue our sessions because of the Muslim Brotherhood's protesting about the coup (30-6 or 3-7 ) which I consider them as turning point Neither a revolution nor a coup   though we couldn't complete our selected modules to the end because of their stupid actions while protesting


I'm not trying to convince you with any thing but please don't give your opinion while you are just watching

AbuAbdul
AbuAbdul

@AmrAlaa  ............. @AmrAlaa  ............. I was reading and trying to accept your point of view until I reached the sentence   "you know I'm a college student at Cairo university  we can't continue our sessions"  .....  what type of people you are ?  :× !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! shiiiit you are such a selfish, ..egomaniac ....... Your people (say at least some are innocents) ..... and all what think about is your study.


I am Saudi origin, born & breed and I have lived in Australia for 4 years (where I've learned the humanity from the westerns, despite my english lang is too bad) while, your english is great ........ but your humanity is close ZERO point.


I've watched the Rabi3a army attacked ..... LIVE .... and I could not sleep that night .... and I took a week leave from my work .......... staying & watching & burning from that Barbaric attack from your f***ing army .... I wished that I was there to help the womens who were ................................... oh my GOD.


You are totally right this clip was in 2010 ......... But, your are either blind or sorry to say (VERY STUPID) ....... if you think your police and army have been changed since then ..... they became more than an Animals .......


All the best in your studies .... wish you all the best ........... AND SHAME on your humanity and prioritization ............................ Listen to those Brave students ..... in the following clip.



----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Egyptian Rrappers in Azhar University ----- FREEDOM --- Anti-Military Coup


http://youtu.be/GiXiUs2tQJY

AbuAbdul
AbuAbdul

@AmrAlaa  By the way ................ about "I'm not trying to convince you" ......... the following clip describe all not Saudis or Kuwaitis nationals .. but all ARABIC people.

if you are in a hurry ....... start listening from (min. 2:00) about our opinion in your Army & Police ...... by this great ex-general in Kuwait Army (Great Man) ....

Do you trust your police & army anymore after this massacre (you kidding your self)


Note: I am quite sure there is still few number of the army and police as good as human beigns.



SISI and all present Police & Army leaders are Murderers ......



http://youtu.be/eVZt-5Soqio

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