Despite already existing pessimism around the former regime’s trial, the country was still taken by surprise last Saturday, June 2, as the long awaited verdict was announced.
Former President Hosni Mubarak and former Interior Minister Habib el Adly were sentenced to life, while El-Adly’s top police commanders and Mubarak’s sons were acquitted of any involvement in the killing of protesters. Clashes erupted between supporters and opponents in front of the court, and mothers of martyrs in TV footage were shown crying in agony because of what they deemed an “unfair” trial.
The news, of course, echoed everywhere in Egypt and it was a matter of hours until Tahrir Square was filled to its fullest – something that has only happened a few times since Mubarak stepped down. Political movements, groups and parties, including April 6 and the Muslim Brotherhood, immediately announced they’d be joining protests against the verdict. Also joining the demonstrating ranks across the country were the Ahly Ultras and the White Knights Ultras.
Debates were naturally sparked on social media and they ranged from finding excuses for the judge who “didn’t have enough evidence” to “Egypt’s judicial system is corrupt and must be brought down”.
The verdict came at a very critical timing; particularly as Egypt is gearing up for the run-off between presidential candidates Ahmed Shafik, long time Civil and Aviation Minister under Mubarak and briefly appointed Prime Minister, and Mohamed Morsi, president of the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party.
So Egypt Today threw the question out there to people on the street and its readers to bring you the word on the street. We asked people “Did the Mubarak trial’s verdict affect your decision on who to vote for in the run-off?” and here is what we go:
“The revolution has lost. This is why I don’t care who will win anymore, the old system will remain the same. There’s no way out.” Lamia Sharara, housewife, 37
“I wasn’t going to vote, because I support neither of the candidates, but after this verdict I decided I’ll vote for Morsi, because it looks like the old regime wants to re-invent itself.” Ahmed Mosalamy, engineer, 28
“I don’t see how this affects the run-off at all. I’m voting for Shafik all the way.” Mohamed Abdel Salam, businessman, 46
“The verdict only confirmed to me that my decision of boycotting was right and that these elections themselves were rigged as [shown by] how corrupt this verdict is.” Salma Hussein, banker, 24
“This is unfair. It’s become more than obvious that all what we were living [this past year and a half] is a sham. These people will keep their hold of the country as long as they possibly can. Our votes won’t make a difference in such an irreparable country.” Essam Mohamed, valet attendant, 48
“At this point all I know is that I’m voting Shafik because he’s capable of taking this country on the right path. He’ll also save us from all the chaos we’ve been living in for a year. I liked Moussa as well. The verdict didn’t surprise me. They [the old regime] burned all the evidence.” Saed Ahmed, office boy, 31
“Verdict or not. I’m boycotting. Period.” Hania raed, account executive, 26