Whither Egypt’s Democracy?

  • Since his election as Egypt’s president in 2014, Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi has continued to fight against the Muslim Brotherhood and extremist Islamic organizations, such as ISIS. El-Sisi is doing his utmost to keep Egypt governing under a secular regime – even if it comes at the expense of civil rights.

  • At the same time, el-Sisi has deepened his security relationship with Israel to bolster his battle for control of the Sinai.

  • What can Egypt, or the rest of the world, expect, from upcoming presidential elections, which present the incumbent president with little or no opposition?
Sisi speaking at the 2015 funeral

El-Sisi speaking at the 2015 funeral of an assassinated Egyptian public prosecutor. (Office of the Egyptian Presidency)

The ostensibly soft-spoken Egyptian president, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, is doing whatever he can to ensure the survival and sustainability of Egypt’s secular military regime. Egypt’s civilian regime was first established in Egypt following the 1952 Revolution, which brought an end to the monarchy that had ruled the country for many years, bringing to power Muhammad Naguib, Gamal Abdel Nasser, Anwar Sadat, Hosni Mubarak, Mohammed Morsi, and Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

The identity of el-Sisi’s main enemy has not changed. It remains as it was since the very beginnings of the military regime: the Muslim Brotherhood and the radical Muslim organizations fighting to uproot the current regime to replace it with a “truly” Islamic regime.

Almost five years have elapsed since the fateful 2013 meeting between el-Sisi and the then-democratically-elected President Morsi when the general told his president that at end of their meeting he would be under house arrest. The rest is, of course, history.

A year later, el-Sisi was elected with an overwhelming majority as president of Egypt. Since then, he has devoted himself to consolidating his regime. Four years later, approaching the end of his presidential term, el-Sisi has declared his intention to run for an additional term in presidential elections to be held March 26-28, 2018. Assuming there are no surprises (and most probably there won’t be any of these), el-Sisi’s re-election is guaranteed by almost 100 percent of the voters, since his opponents in the presidential race have been eliminated, one after the other, for various reasons:...

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