World
Strongman Sisi poised to win Egypt presidency
Publish Date: May 26, 2014
Strongman Sisi poised to win Egypt presidency
Egyptians walk past a campaign poster of Egyptian ex-army chief and leading presidential candidate Abdel Fattah al-Sisi hanging on a building in Fayyum some 100 kilometres south of Cairo on May 20, 2014. PHOTO BY AFP
  • mail
  • img
newvision

CAIRO  - Egyptians go to the polls Monday in a presidential election that ex-army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who ousted the elected Islamist leader, is expected to easily win amid calls for stability.
 
The two-day election caps more than three years of political turmoil that has seen two presidents ousted following mass protests, thousands killed in clashes and militant attacks, and an economy left in tatters.
 
Polling stations open at 0600 GMT for 53 million registered voters.
 
Sisi is expected to trounce his only rival, leftist leader Hamdeen Sabbahi, amid calls for a strong leader who can restore stability in the Arab world's most populous country and shore up the economy.
 
But true democracy, the ideal millions rallied and fought for in a 2011 uprising that overthrew strongman Hosni Mubarak, will have to wait, perhaps for a couple of decades, Sisi has said.
 
Instead, he says he will work hard to restore the economy and fight "terrorism".
 
Ballot boxes are checked as they arrive at a school serving as a polling station in Cairo, a day ahead of Presidential elections, on May 25, 2014.
 
Sisi has called for a high turnout in the election, billed by the military-installed authorities and the West as a milestone toward elected rule in the country of 86 million people.
 
"You need to go down now more than any other time in (the country's) history. Go down, show to the entire world that there are 40, 45 (million) or even more" voters casting their ballots, Sisi said as campaigning closed on Friday.
 
The military and police are being deployed heavily to secure polling stations across the country, which saw a surge in militant attacks after Morsi's overthrow on July 3 last year.
 
The presidential poll will be followed by parliamentary elections later this year.
 
 
New autocrat? 
 
Sisi's sole election rival Sabbahi, a veteran dissident, has vowed to defend the democratic aspirations of the 2011 revolt.
 
"We swear to God that symbols of corruption and despotism (from the Mubarak era) will not return," he said on Friday.
 
But indicating that he will not tolerate protests, Sisi has raised fears that Egypt could see more repression than under Mubarak's regime.
 
"What tourist would come to a country where we have demonstrations like this?" he asked Egyptian newspaper editors.
 
"You write in the newspapers: 'No voice is louder than freedom of speech!' What is that?" he asked.
 
The interim authorities have justified the overthrow of Morsi by saying the army heeded mass street protests against the divisive Islamist's one-year rule.
 
The April 6 youth movement, which spearheaded the anti-Mubarak revolt and whose leader has been jailed, has called for a boycott of the election.
 
Influential Egypt-born cleric and backer of the Muslim Brotherhood, Yusef al-Qaradawi, has also urged a boycott, saying Sisi was "soaked from head to toe in the blood of innocents".
 
Since Morsi's overthrow, police have cracked down on his Muslim Brotherhood, which had swept all elections since the fall of Mubarak.
 
Sisi pledges that the Brotherhood, now blacklisted as a terrorist group, would cease to exist under his presidency.
 
The crackdown has cost at least 1,400 lives since July, including hundreds of pro-Morsi protesters killed on a single day last August when security forces demolished their street camps in Cairo.
 
AFP
 
 
 

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Two dead in US school shooting after online warnings
A US student who had issued chilling warnings on Twitter opened fire in a school cafeteria on Friday, killing at least one person and critically injuring three before taking his own life....
European stocks on Ebola, eurozone concerns
Europe's main stock markets pulled back Friday on concerns over New York's first Ebola case and the outlook for the eurozone....
Mexico governor steps down over student disappearances
The governor of the Mexican state where 43 students vanished a month ago following a confrontation with police allegedly linked to a major drug cartel has bowed to pressure to stand down....
A doctor who recently returned to New York from treating Ebola patients in Guinea tested positive on Thursday for the deadly virus, the first confirmed case in the city, officials said....
Missing Mexico journalist found shot dead
THE editor of an investigative magazine in violence-wracked northwestern Mexico who disappeared two weeks ago was found dead with gunshot wounds...
Bashir calls opponents for talks
SUDAN'S President Omar al-Bashir has urged opponents to join him in 'national dialogue' talks, days after it was announced he would be seeking re-election...
Should diplomatic passports issued to ex-govt workers be with drawn?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter