Written by Salah Almhamdi
As the time approaches for the Egyptian presidential election , there have been calls not only in Egypt but also around the Arab world for televised presidential debates. During the 2005 presidential election Mubarak rebuffed calls  for such debates, but now with a genuine presidential race  for the first time, Egyptian voters are keen to see the kind of debates they have watched taking place in the United States and elsewhere.
On April 22, Twitter users discussed the idea of “Monazarat” (”Debates”), and called for televised presidential debates in Egypt.
Bassem Sabry introduced the campaign  to demand televised presidential debates, and the Twitter hashtag to use (#Monazarat ).
Safwat Safi tweeted [ar]:
: Ø£Ø¹ØªÙ‚Ø¯ Ø£ÙˆÙ„ Ù…Ù†Ø§Ø¸Ø±Ø© Ù…ØªÙ„ÙØ²Ø© ÙƒØ§Ù†Øª ÙÙŠ Ø§Ù„Ø³ØªÙŠÙ†Ø§Øª Ø¨ÙŠÙ† ÙƒÙ†ÙŠØ¯ÙŠ ÙˆÙ†ÙŠÙƒØ³ÙˆÙ†ØŒ Ù…Ù† Ø§Ù„Ø¬Ù…ÙŠÙ„ Ø£Ù† Ù†Ø±Ù‰ Ø°Ù„Ùƒ ÙÙŠ Ø§Ù„Ø¹Ø§Ù„Ù… Ø§Ù„Ø¹Ø±Ø¨ÙŠ Ø¨Ø¹Ø¯ 50 Ø¹Ø§Ù…Ø§
: I think the first televised debate was in the sixties between Kennedy and Nixon 
; it’s nice to see it in the Arab world 50 years later
Journalist Mohamed Abdel Kodos wrote on his blog  [ar]:
Ø£ØªÙ…Ù†Ù‰ Ø±Ø¤ÙŠØ© Ù…Ù†Ø§Ø¸Ø±Ø§Øª Ø¹Ù„Ù‰ Ø§Ù„Ù‡ÙˆØ§Ø¡ Ù…Ø¨Ø§Ø´Ø±Ø© Ø¨ÙŠÙ† Ø§Ù„Ù…Ø±Ø´ØÙŠÙ† Ù„Ù…Ù†ØµØ¨ Ø±Ø¦Ø§Ø³Ø© Ø§Ù„Ø¬Ù…Ù‡ÙˆØ±ÙŠØ© ÙƒÙ…Ø§ ÙŠØØ¯Ø« ÙÙ‰ Ø§Ù„Ø¯ÙˆÙ„ Ø§Ù„Ù…ØªÙ‚Ø¯Ù…Ø©ØŒ ÙÙ‡Ù„ Ø³ØªØ¬Ø¯ ØªÙ„Ùƒ Ø§Ù„Ø£Ù…Ù†ÙŠØ© Ø·Ø±ÙŠÙ‚Ù‡Ø§ Ø¥Ù„Ù‰ Ø£Ø±Ø¶ Ø§Ù„ÙˆØ§Ù‚Ø¹ Ø£Ù… ØªØ¸Ù„ ØÙ„Ù…Ø§Ù‹ ÙÙ‰ Ø§Ù„Ù…Ø´Ù…Ø´ØŸ
I hope to see live debates between the candidates for the presidency of the republic just like in developed countries. Will that become reality, or will it simply remain a dream?
Blogger Sara Labib expressed her amazement [ar]:
: Ø¯Ù‰ Ø§ÙˆÙ„ Ù…Ø±Ø© ÙŠØ¨Ù‚Ù‰ Ù‚Ø¯Ø§Ù…Ù†Ø§ Ø§ÙƒØªØ± Ù…Ù† Ù…Ø±Ø´Ø ØÙ‚ÙŠÙ‚Ù‰ Ùˆ Ù…Ø´ Ø¹Ø§Ø±ÙÙŠÙ† Ù…ÙŠÙ† Ø§Ù„Ù„Ù‰ Ù‡ÙŠÙƒØ³Ø¨ØŒ Ø®Ù„ÙŠÙ†Ø§ Ù†Ø±Ø³Ø® Ø«Ù‚Ø§ÙØ© Ø§Ù„ØÙˆØ§Ø± Ùˆ Ø§Ù„Ù…Ù†Ø§Ù‚Ø´Ø© Ùˆ Ø§Ù„Ù…Ù†Ø§Ø¸Ø±Ø§Øª Ø¨ÙŠÙ† Ø§Ù„Ù…Ø±Ø´ØÙŠÙ† â€ªâ€¬
: For the first time we have in front of us more than one real candidate, and we don’t know who will win; let’s strengthen the culture of dialogue, discussion and debate between candidates
Twitter user ta7riro suggested some debate topics:
@khelaly : healthcare, slums, street children, cultural heritage, innovation
Writer Marwa Elnaggar criticised the presidential elections’ poster frenzy  and tweeted [ar]:
: Ø§Ù„Ø´Ø¹Ø§Ø±Ø§Øª ÙˆØ§Ù„Ø¨ÙˆØ³ØªØ±Ø§Øª Ù…Ø´ Ù‡ØªÙ‚ÙˆÙ„Ù„ÙŠ ØØ§Ø¬Ø© Ø¹Ù† Ø§Ù„Ù…Ø±Ø´ØÙŠÙ† ÙˆÙ„ÙƒÙ† Ø§Ù„Ù…Ù†Ø§Ø¸Ø±Ø§Øª Ù‡ØªÙˆØ¶Ø ÙƒÙ„ ÙˆØ§ØØ¯ Ø¨ÙŠÙÙƒØ± Ø§Ø²Ø§ÙŠ ÙˆØ¨Ø±Ù†Ø§Ù…Ø¬Ù‡ Ù…Ø¨Ù†ÙŠ Ø¹Ù„Ù‰ ØªØ®Ø·ÙŠØ· Ø³Ù„ÙŠÙ… ÙˆÙ„Ø§ Ù„Ø§
: Slogans and posters won’t tell me anything about the candidates, but debates will clarify what each candidate thinks and whether his programme is based on solid planning or not
Iyad Elbaghdadi joked:
@iyad_elbaghdadi : At the very least, presidential debates in #Egypt will give our stand-up comedians some new material!
Hesham Alquraini believes such debates would be highly significant [ar]:
: Ù„Ùˆ ÙØ¹Ù„Ø§Ù‹ ØªÙ…Øª Ù‡Ø°Ù‡ Ø§Ù„Ù…Ù†Ø§Ø¸Ø±Ø§Øª Ø¨ÙŠÙ† Ù…Ø±Ø´ØÙŠ Ø§Ù„Ø±Ø¦Ø§Ø³Ø© Ø§Ù„Ù…ØµØ±ÙŠØ© Ø³ØªÙƒÙˆÙ† Ù†Ù‚Ù„Ø© Ù†ÙˆØ¹ÙŠØ© Ù…Ù‡Ù…Ø© ÙÙŠ Ø§Ù„ØªØ§Ø±ÙŠØ® Ø§Ù„Ø³ÙŠØ§Ø³ÙŠ Ø§Ù„Ø¹Ø±Ø¨ÙŠ ÙŠØ¸Ù‡Ø± Ù„Ù„Ù…Ø±Ø© Ø§Ù„Ø£ÙˆÙ„Ù‰ â€ª
: If the debates between the Egyptian presidential candidates really happen, it will be an unprecedented leap in Arab political history
This post is part of our special coverage of Egypt Elections 2011/12 .
Article printed from Global Voices: http://globalvoicesonline.org
URL to article: http://globalvoicesonline.org/2012/04/24/egypt-time-for-televised-presidential-debates/