26 May 2014

Egypt: Mubarak 2.0 - the Coronation of Yet Another Egyptian Strongman


Egyptians began voting for a new president on Monday. They'll continue to do so on Tuesday, not that the result is in doubt: Barring a miracle, former field marshal Abdel Fatah el-Sisi will be elected with an overwhelming majority.

Yes, Sisi's style is uncannily reminiscent of a certain Hosni Mubarak, but that's no hindrance - in fact, it might just be the secret of his success.

In ancient Egypt, the coronation of a new pharaoh took about a year. It hasn't taken Abdel Fatah al-Sisi quite as long - it's been just 11 months since he led the coup which toppled elected President Mohamed Morsi - but the result will be the same: once Monday and Tuesday's votes are counted, Egypt's future will, once again, rest in the hands of just one man.

Sisi's election is a fait accompli, and has been ever since he formally threw his field marshal's cap into the ring. It helps that there are only two candidates for the position, after some were banned (most significantly the Muslim Brotherhood) and others boycotted; and that the resources of the state are being fully mobilised in support of Sisi. His face graces newspaper front ...

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