Everyone asks: Who are you voting for in the coming presidential elections? Finding an answer would seem to be easy, especially after the peaceful young revolution of 25 January 2011, and given that the elections would seem to be free and fair, which returns to each individual the necessity to vote, not only because it is the first time that we might really participate in the selection of leaders, but because it is a national duty and a revolutionary one to bolster political change and to guarantee that there will be no fraud.
However, the real problem is about who to choose among these candidates, as they all have similar programmes and they are all nearly the same age, except for the young lawyer Khalid Ali who despite his good reputation is often berated or dismissed from serious consideration because of his relative youth. People who are used to presidents in their 70s.
After deep thinking I took a decision. I will not announce the name of my preferred candidate but I will instead rule out those candidates who I could never vote for.
I will not vote for a candidate over the age of 60, as the revolution is young, and the youth of Egypt — who are about 60 per cent of population — deserve a president who looks like them. Egypt needs a young man at the helm; not necessarily Khalid Ali, but personally I don't want a president over the age of retirement and who might never retire.
I will not vote for a candidate who worked with the former regime, because no matter how much he says that he hated corruption, and that he was opposed to the former regime, I really cannot believe him. And even if true, he did not try to get out of that situation, he did not sacrifice himself, even though he may have already achieved a lot and would not lose much if he resigned. How can I be sure that he will fight corruption, which is the least he should do, and it is what these young people deserve, as they have sacrificed their lives for the freedom of this country?
I will not vote for a candidate who takes a particular approach and is willing to impose it on the youth of this country. Egypt is an ancient country and its youth is free and conscious of the right to choose a political approach. As we always believed, religion is for God and the country is the homeland of all citizens. This has always been the most beautiful banner lifted by the citizens of this country.
I will not vote for a candidate who complained that he lived in darkness under a despotic regime and then, when light dawned, seeks to put all of us in darkness under the pretext of preserving values and traditions. He should know that the values of Egyptian society are ancient, and the commitment to ethics of the majority of its people does not need to be proved. The religiosity of Egyptians, Muslims or Christians, is very well known and proved as deep and as it is moderate, not only in the region but around the world.
I will not vote for a candidate who is fluent in political manipulation, who knows how to play by the will of the people and try to convince them that he was seeking to maintain their interests and is keen on boosting Egypt while he is only achieving his own interests, as a wizard who masters card play. Of course I won't vote for him as I fear that he will play with my destiny as much as he does with his own.
I will only vote for a candidate that respects my mind, my thoughts, my principles and my desire to live in a free and developed country, free of corruption and bribery; a candidate who wants to make Egypt a superpower that respects its individuals and recognises freedom of expression and protects human rights and dignity.
I certainly will vote for a humble, honest candidate who is transparent because I simply I want the head of the state to become a role model— an idol in good manners. Maybe we can thereby recover those qualities in ourselves that I fear the former regime stripped so harshly from the people.