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April 18, 2012

Egypt: How would you rate the presidential candidates? Part 1

The Canadian Charger

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On May 23 and May 24, Egyptians are going to the poll to choose their president. During May 11 - 17 Egyptians living outside the country will get the same chance. Today there are some 20 candidates, expected to trim down to about 10 in the weeks to come as some will be declared legally not qualified and others will withdraw.

The main question now is: How would voters rate any candidate? Here is a score sheet that voters can use. The final score is the average of 10 scores, half allocated to the candidate’s election program and the other half is allocated to the candidate himself. For a candidate to “pass” he must score 80% or more overall and must score at least 70% in every category.

The Program

This is very important as it can be used to hold the candidate accountable once he becomes a president. Very few candidates have a well-researched program. 50% of the overall score is allocated to the program and are distributed evenly in 5 categories:

1. How clear are the goals and the strategy for economic development and social justice? This must include details of how to achieve them over short, medium and long terms.

2. A realistic timetable for achieving those goals.

3. Implementation of specific mechanisms to achieve those goals.

4. Distinction between strategic goals and means to achieve these goals.

5. The extent of studying the experiences of other developing countries, like China, India, Malaysia, Turkey, Brazil and South Africa, in identifying the strategic plan above for achieving both economic development and social justice (more on this topic later).

The Person

50% of the score of this evaluation is concerning the candidate himself and shall be distributed equally on 5 categories:

1. His achievements during his career.

2. His track record for public service.

3. Ability to achieve the above national project.

4. The ability to lead a team working in a presidential institutional framework.

5. Free from involvement in political corruption during Mubarak regime.

All candidates except two will fail #2. It is sad that serving the public was not a high priority for all except two, Abu Alftoh and Sabahi. Thus only those will pass the test above.

Item 5 will exclude all Mubarak’s men, which is only fair.

The above methodology for evaluation is as objective as possible. It did try to avoid partisan politics, which is sadly dominating the current political scene in Egypt.

Although Egypt’s new constitution will not be in place by the time the new president starts his first day of work, I believe if voters use the above score sheet they can make a good choice.

The above score sheet is not casted in stone. I am inviting interested people to comment.

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