Egypt candidates campaign with billboards, TV interviews, and puppet show

Ahram Online, Tuesday 8 May 2012

Presidential candidates' campaigns resumed this week after the deadly Abbasiya clashes with massive billdoard ads, television talk shows, and a colourful folk dance video - (embedded)

Defaced posters of presidential candidates Mohammed Morsi, left and Abdel-Moneim Abolfotoh, right, with Arabic writing that reads, "president for Egypt" are seen on a wall in a street in Cairo (Photo: AP)

Presidential candidates are resuming their campaign activities this week, which include updating their official Facebook pages and appearing on television again, having suspended them following Friday's clashes around protests in Abbasiya.

Large billboards overlooking key highways and flyovers, like the 6 October Bridge, that previously read ra'es (president), now feature posters of presidential candidates who have the budget to foot the rental costs, rumoured in the tens of thousands. 

Key Egyptian television channels are airing in-depth features on all the candidates, usually in front of a live audience. Recent examples are the extended debate on Dream TV with Ahmed Shafiq about his presidential policies and a two-part CBC series on revolutionary candidate, Khaled Ali.   

Social media has also become a key tool in the campaigning process, with supporters publishing videos of the candidates' campaign adverts and exchanging criticisms on social networking sites, like Facebook and Twitter.

Presidential candidate Amr Moussa's page published his one-and-a-half minute video campaign advert under the title "Up For the Challenge."

Children, fishermen, workers and students appear in the video, talking about security, stability and a decent life, as well as good education and national unity. They tout how Moussa has the ability and expertise to rebuild Egypt. Moussa also makes an appearance in the clip.

The Freedom and Justice Party's (FJP) candidate Mohamed Morsi has adopted a similar approach. His campaign advert, entitled: "We Want a President," which is shorter, at 31 seconds long, showed mainly young adults saying that they want a president that respects the revolution "and understands our mentality."

Abdel-Moneim Abul-Fotouh's campaign, entitled "It's an Easy Recipe" took a slightly different route. The advert takes the form of a puppet show, borrowing songs and themes from the famous Egyptian operetta "The Big Night," written by Salah Jaheen and composed by Sayed Mekkawy. The video emphasises Abul-Fotouh's strengths, without going into detail about his presidential programme. 

Presidential candidates' campaign with billboards,TV interviews, and a puppet show

Short link: