A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Monday, January 13, 2014

Sisi Comes Closer Than Ever to Linking Candidacy to the Referendum

For those of you still unpersuaded that Egypt's General Sisi may run for President, first I have some bad news about the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy, and second, he came closer than ever this weekend to linking a candidacy with the results of the constitutional referendum, which takes place this week. Saying the Amy follows "democracy," he indicated it would take a successful referendum to persuade him. Now, as for democracy, parties that campaigned against the referendum have found their supporters being arrested, and both the media and public figures are denouncing "no" voters as traitors to Egypt, and the early returns from Egyptians voting abroad are showing many results above 90%, and some higher (Jidda in Saudi Arabia was reported at 98% "yes"), which means either 1) Sisi really is the reincarnation of Gamal Abdel Nasser, or 2) they hired Nasser-era vote counters. I find it hard to believe that 98% of any constituency would vote for anything, even a kindergarten vote on free chocolate. (One of my oldest friends is observing for an NGO; I hope after the fact he'll offer some not-for-attribution insights.)

Perhaps I'm wrong. At least about the Tooth Fairy.

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