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
Boko Haram
Boko Haram has kidnapped at least 185 people, including women and children, in northeast Nigeria, the latest mass abduction in a region where the military has repeatedly struggled to protect civilians, officials and witnesses said Thursday....
Village votes to expel HIV-positive boy
The plight of a Chinese boy with the HIV virus, reportedly pushed to leave his home by 200 villagers who signed a petition...
Key points in Obama
Among the changes, Obama will authorize the State Department to re-establish full diplomatic relations with Cuba....
Global life expectancy rises - study
People around the world lived on average to a ripe old age of 71.5 in 2013, up from 65.3 in 1990, a study says....
US announces
The United States on Wednesday announced a "historic" thaw in relations with Cuba, saying it would work to re-establish diplomatic ties with Havana and ease long-standing trade and travel sanctions....
Jeb latest Bush to launch US presidential bid
JEB Bush, son to one former US president and brother to another, threw his hat into the ring for the 2016 race...
What is causing the rise in Early child marriages?
Decaying social structures
Poor Education
None of the above
follow us
subscribe to our news letter