Friday, February 7, 2014

Four reasons for throwing down a gauntlet to El Sisi - openDemocracy

Now that it seems imminent that Field Marshal Abdel Fattah El Sisi will run for Egypt's presidency, some argue that it’s a done deal and that there’s no need to compete with him, especially due to the overwhelming support he is getting from both state institutions and media outlets, and others argue that anyone else’s participation in the elections would only be for decorative purposes, only further legitimizing the whole process.
Last week left-wing politician Hamdeen Sabbahi officially announced his presidential bid. Khaled Ali, the youngest presidential contender in 2012 may also announce his intent to run soon. The Tamarod (Rebel) movement, known for backing the military, is split over which candidate to support. Two of its three leaders support Sabbahi, while the third supports Sisi. This is excluding two other contenders, namely Sami Anan and potentially Ahmed Shafik, both military men, as they are very unlikely to gain support from any kind of progressive camp.
The political scene is not encouraging many to engage, especially with widespread arrests, unfair competition and the consolidation of power by state bodies. However, I would argue that there are several legit reasons to take the risk and challenge El Sisi in the upcoming presidential elections.

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