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Egypt uses Facebook to gauge presidential popularity

So far the Egyptians ‘Like’ Mohamed El Baradei.

Mohamed El Baradei will be pleased with his popularity on the Facebook
Mohamed El Baradei will be pleased with his popularity on the Facebook
Image: Markus Schreiber/AP/Press Association Images

EGYPT’S MILITARY RULERS are using Facebook in an attempt to show how the temporary government is committed to a transition.

In a poll posted on its Facebook page, the military or the ‘Official Site of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces’, as it is referred to, is asking voters which presidential hopeful they like best.

The innovation is seen as a welcome novelty given the fraud and rigging which took place during the reign of the ousted Hosni Mubarak but sceptics argue the poll may be a way for generals to promote their favourite candidate.

Mubarak succumbed to a popular uprising in February, but the democratic transition has not been without its problems in Egypt with many who took part in the initial uprising criticising the way in which reforms are being implemented, reports The Independent.

The Facebook poll of 18 candidates has so far gotten more than 100,000 responses.

One of those who backed the overthrow of Mubarak and former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency Mohamed El Baradei is leading the way. The poll will last for the next month.

Although as the Washington Post points out, the online vote can only be seen by a fifth of the population with internet access in a country of 85 million. So it’s hardly scientific.

- additional reporting from AP

About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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