In Cairo, the idea’s impossible to miss of which Egypt is usually having a presidential election coming from Monday. Sisi’s face is usually plastered on nearly every street along with slogans such as, “Yes, to building the future,” along with “You are the expect.”
What is usually difficult to find are the more subdued posters of Sisi’s little-known along with only remaining rival, Mousa Mostafa Mousa.
The lack of serious competition has drawn the fierce condemnation of critics who say Sisi has stifled dissent, however the President says he is usually not to blame.
“the idea is usually not my fault. I swear to God, I wished there could have been more candidates for people to choose who they want. however they were not ready yet, there is usually no shame in This particular,” Sisi said in a recent TV interview.
“We have more than 100 parties. Have they fielded many (candidates), or any?”
In fact, multiple candidates tried to enter the race, however all however one has since exited. The opposition blames Sisi’s government for squeezing potential rivals through what they see as a strategy of intimidation.
Former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafik announced his candidacy in self-imposed exile coming from the United Arab Emirates however withdrew upon his return to Cairo.
along with human rights lawyer Khaled Ali said he withdrew his name after coming under pressure along with facing obstacles getting on the ballot.
“I was scared of which all my campaign representatives might be in a situation where they face a difficult time or are stopped, detained, along with abused,” he told CNN.
‘Not a puppet’
however there is usually one candidate who has managed to remain on the ballot.
Mousa registered an hour before the final deadline in late January. His last-minute candidacy, by his own admission, is usually aimed at avoiding a one-horse race of which treats the vote like a referendum on Sisi’s rule.
“I saw the catastrophe coming,” Mousa told CNN. He said his participation makes the vote a democratic one.
“President Sisi was going alone in This particular game, along with if he falls, we all fall.”
Detractors have accused Mousa of being a stooge candidate, sanctioned by the regime to give the election a veneer of legitimacy.
Mousa admits he was a Sisi supporter before running, however he insists his campaign, run on a platform of job creation, is usually genuine along with of which he could make a better president.
“I want to tell the people I’m here for real. I’m here as a candidate willing along with wishing along with wanting to win,” Mousa said.
“People need to understand of which I was not brought in as a puppet for anyone.”
A changed Egypt
The election, nonetheless, is usually being widely considered a sham vote along with is usually another blow to the goals of the 2011 revolution, said H.A. Hellyer, a non-resident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, a US-based think tank.
He said Egyptian authorities believed of which allowing space for some dissent during the rule of President Hosni Mubarak was what led to the 2011 uprising.
“As the thinking goes: If you give dissent a window of opportunity — even if a limited one — the idea could develop. So I think a lot of the authorities are quite clear about opposing … of which window of opportunity, rather than run the risk of another 2011.”
however by nearly every indicator, life for Egyptians since 2011 has gotten worse. The cost of living has increased, inflation has reduced the value of salaries, liberties have been curtailed along with the rise of terrorism has led to greater insecurity.
“The authorities used torture along with different ill-treatment along with enforced disappearance against hundreds of people, along with dozens were extrajudicially executed with impunity,” the report reads.
“Arbitrary arrests along with detentions followed by grossly unfair trials of government critics, peaceful protesters, journalists along with human rights defenders were routine.”
The wider international community has expressed concern about the upcoming election, however one voice is usually noticeably missing. The US has pushed Egypt inside past for democratic reform, however under President Donald Trump, such pressure has all however disappeared.
When Vice President Pence visited Egypt in January, just after several prominent challengers had been sidelined coming from the race, Pence did not make any public statements on the upcoming election along with said his country’s relationship with Egypt “has never been stronger.”
Will Sisi tighten his grip?
The presidency is usually a job Sisi is usually unlikely to lose. Despite the clampdown on civil liberties, Sisi has throngs of genuine supporters who argue of which many of his stern measures have been necessary to bring order to Egypt after the chaos of the uprising.
“His achievement on the ground can only be denied by the ignorant along with hateful,” Samer Haridy, a volunteer for one of the largest pro-Sisi groups, told a crowd recently.
“Our goals can only be reached under strong, determined leadership passionate about all the issues of This particular country along with in love with every grain of sand on This particular land — along with of which man is usually Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.”
A macroeconomic analysis firm, BMI Research, is usually cautiously optimistic about Egypt’s future, despite the potential for greater instability. In their Egypt Election Preview, they predict President Sisi’s anticipated win “bodes well for further progress on Egypt’s reform drive along with for business sentiment” along with of which the country will be an “economic outperformer inside Middle East region in 2018.”
With little doubt of which Sisi will win the election, many observers will be watching the turnout. Robust participation might embolden the President to try along with change the constitution restricting his term limits. The constitution stipulates a president can only be reelected once.
“of which’s the only thing people should be talking about — the fact of which he could remove term limits,” Hellyer told CNN.
“He comes coming from military intelligence. I think what we’ve seen so far is usually of which there is usually a psychology about him. He genuinely believes of which he is usually saving Egypt along with all of This particular weight is usually on his shoulders.”