Egyptian Election Update

Today was the third day of Egypt’s second presidential elections in the past three years. Elections were extended for a third day, and an impromptu last-minute national holiday were announced, due to low voter turnout.[1] This is not surprising given the tense, repressive, current political climate in Egypt.

Votes are currently being counted, and pro-Sisi celebratory elections have already begun in Egypt.

General Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, who removed Egypt’s democratically elected president ten months ago, is not surprisingly the only serious contender in the election. If/when Sisi wins, he will hold a tremendous amount of political power. The parliament is currently disbanded, which allows Sisi to issue laws by presidential degree. Sisi also has support of the military, and a considerable degree of public support.

If Sisi gets elected, there is little hope for democracy in Egypt in the near future. As military chief, his crackdown on dissent far exceeded that of Mubarak. Sisi has indicated in television interviews he has no tolerance for the labor strikes and other street demonstrations against the military. He is also sure to send the Muslim Brotherhood underground. He ousted former President Muhammed Morsi in July and has pledged to end the Brotherhood’s existence in Egypt.[2] Yet the Brotherhood has survived many cycles of repression before (see Davis and Robinson’s (2012) book). They are sure to do so again given their massive network of civic organizations which permeate Egyptian society. Repression of the Brotherhood not only excludes them from the conversation and makes  democracy in Egypt impossible, but it also creates the conditions for future violence and unrest.

Deputy Research Director of the newly formed Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy, Allison McManus, is tracking the elections on the Institute’s webpage at: http://timep.org/presidential-elections-monitoring. The website compiles media coverage, voter experiences, and gives overviews of the election and its candidates.

[1] www.theguardian.com/world/2014/may/27/egypt-presidential-election-extended-third-day;

http://www.democracynow.org/2014/5/28/egyptian_regime_scrambles_to_boost_low

[2] http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303749904579579782275804034

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Daily Disruption

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s