Egyptian election campaigning gets underway despite lack of opposition

Egyptian election campaigning gets underway despite lack of opposition

Few will take much notice when Egypt’s presidential campaign begins today, as incumbent President Abdel Fatteh el-Sisi’s government has engaged

egypt_election

Photo: AP/Amr Nabil

Few will take much notice when Egypt’s presidential campaign begins today, as incumbent President Abdel Fatteh el-Sisi’s government has engaged in intensive efforts to force any serious challengers to either withdraw or face being detained by security forces.

Mr Sisi will face just one recognised candidate: Mousa Mostafa Mousa of the pro-government Ghad Party. There are questions about how Mousa managed to get on the ballot just minutes before the electoral deadline, suggesting his candidacy is designed to energise an otherwise heavily authoritarian exercise.

For the wider region, a re-election would bring about mutually sought out stability in relations and energy diplomacy between Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Israel, especially as Mr Sisi aspires to develop Egypt into a regional energy hub. Re-election would also help ground confidence in an economy that has barely recovered from the 2011 revolution and is currently being assisted by an IMF package.

Without any legitimate contenders to challenge Sisi, his re-election is widely expected as well as continued efforts to consolidate his control over Egypt’s intelligence and military apparatus. The economic implications of re-election appear positive, but there is grave concern that this would come at the expense of the few domestic political and social rights remaining in post-revolution Egypt.

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