A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Egypt: Round Up All the Usual Candidates

Even in the days of Husni Mubarak, there were opposition Presidential candidates. They never won, of course, or stood a chance, but the pretense of a competitive system was at least honored.

It would appear that President Sisi, about to run for a second term, is not eager for any such competition. When former Air Force Commander and 2013 Presidential candidate Ahmad Shafiq returned from exile in the UAE to run for President, he soon announced he had been away too long and wasn't running.

Then Anwar El Sadat, nephew and namesake of the late President, who had planned to run, announced he was pulling out.

Then former Chief of Staff Sami Anan announced he was running. Not only is he a senior military man, but he made his announcement a few hours after Sisi's own, and named as his Vice Presidential candidate Hisham Geneina, formerly head of the Administrative Control Authority, who had been fired for pointing out corruption.

Anan was promptly arrested for "forgery" and "violating Army regulations."

Next human rights lawyer Khaled Ali announced he would not run as there was no hope of a competitive vote.

Then on Saturday, Geneina, Anan's designated Vice President, was attacked by three men and beaten, though official statements referred to an automobile accident.

Finally, yesterday, a little-known political figure named Moussa Mustafa Moussa of the Al-Ghad (tomorrow) Party, which has no seats in Parliament, announced he was running, though no one knows much about him. He has not, as of this writing, quit the race.

It's looking like Sisi will win without any real competition.

No comments: