A pre-election landscape in Egypt seems to foreshadow a landslide for Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, whose only opponent is Hamdeen Sabahi, who also ran for president in 2012.
Despite the events in the country, analysts and specialists still believe in Egypt’s potential to do the “remarkable,” even if that would be a long shot.
According to Al Monitor newspaper, there are three possibilities, even if slim, for Egypt to surprise:
“First, a commitment by Sisi and those around him to a reform program that will address Egypt’s deep governance challenges so that Sisi would not “be viewed as the face of regression to the past”;
Second, Sabahi could seize the limelight of his underdog candidacy to offer an aggressive and bold vision for Egypt and thereby “push the Sisi campaign to spar over policy and to take positions on what might otherwise be delicate subjects it may wish to avoid, including security reform and human rights”;
Third, a role for the anti-Mubarak secular and national parties “such as the Social Democratic Party, the Free Egyptians and the Wafd, [who] could (again) come up with a much publicized official charter of what they demand of the next president. Such a charter would include crucial reforms and decisions, including on the electoral and protest laws as well as on the status of the detainees awaiting trial and the turbulent conditions facing journalism in Egypt, and even on national governance issues such as health care that could at least help ensure better short-term conditions for the country.”
All that seems certain about Egypt’s future is its uncertainty, even if Sisi appears to have a lock on the presidency.
It has been reported that on April 29, the day after an Egyptian court ordered a ban on the activities of the April 6 movement, the group’s members took to the streets in Cairo in defiance.
The ban on April 6 came the same day a court in Minya sentenced a top Muslim Brotherhood leader and more than 680 others to death for the killing of a police officer, earning the rebuke of US Secretary of State John Kerry, who called the sentences “disturbing” at a press conference prior to his meeting in Washington with Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy. Fahmy also told a Washington audience that US-Egypt ties had “eroded” because of the suspension of aid after the ouster of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi last year, and that “‘global rebalancing’ affords Egypt an opportunity to ‘diversify its portfolio of strategic and economic relationships.'” Fahmy further said, “We will continue to maintain and indeed enhance our strategic relationship with the United States and Europe. However, we will also look elsewhere. Our emerging relationship with Russia is one that we will seek to nurture and leverage.”
– Al Monitor: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2014/05/week-in-review-hamas-qassam-brigades.html?utm_source=Al-Monitor+Newsletter+%5BEnglish%5D&utm_campaign=8b1a9cbf3d-Week_in_Review_5_5_20145_4_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_28264b27a0-8b1a9cbf3d-102320929
– Al Jazeera: http://m.aljazeera.com/story/2014549836755478
– The Guardian: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/apr/20/sisi-egypt-election-nominations-close
– Sky News: http://news.sky.com/story/1255779/egypts-al-sisi-muslim-brotherhood-is-finished
– Al Jazeera: http://m.aljazeera.com/story/20144281135421761
– CFRA: http://www.cfra.com/WorldCP/article.aspx?id=419423