(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - Less than one week remains before Egyptians take to the polls in their first ever — hopefully — free and fair presidential elections. Twelve remaining candidates have been battling it out for the votes of their fellow countrymen, with polls indicating that five candidates have the greatest pull on the votes, with two more genuinely influencing the national debate despite their lack of voter appeal.
Throughout this run up period, there have been countless “meet the candidate” televised sessions wherein one or more journalists or TV hosts grill their selected candidate (or a spokesperson) over his background and the questions of the hour. In addition, there has been an avalanche of newspaper reports, blog entries, social media coverage and conversations, public meetings with the candidates, open debates between voters and public figures regarding the vote, and so much more.
Most importantly, and momentously, there has been historic televised debate between rivals. For the first time ever in Egypt, and almost in the region, two front runners embarked on an epic three hour debate that has sent shockwaves throughout the country, the region and even the world. Whereas Mauritania staged the first ever such debate in the region in 2007, Egypt’s debate uniquely came amid the background of the Arab Spring and the promise of a true wave for human rights and democracy in the region. It presented a true and often heated contest between candidates over platforms and ideas, unlike Mauritania’s much calmer, more consensual debate.