Egypt: dream of democracy

“The fact that Al-Sisi does not let any adversary run in the March elections suggests the fear that the military and security services are not on his side. If ex-general Sami Anan or ex-prime minister Ahmed Shafiq were able to run for election and got between 20% and 25% of the vote, it would force Al-Sisi to change course and acknowledge dissatisfaction with politics. Al-Sisi wants to run the country as if everyone supports him, not as a head of a state in which there are disagreements over policies. Now that he went down the path of the dictatorship, there is no going back. ”

Square on the night of February 11, 2011, after the announcement of Hosni Mubarak’s resignation: experts admit that Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s dictatorship is even more cruel (photo: Marco Longari / AFP – 2/11/11) Fireworks and celebration in the crowded Tahrir Square on the night of February 11, 2011, after the announcement of Hosni Mubarak’s resignation: experts admit that Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s dictatorship is even more cruel

For 18 days and nights

when anguish, fear and revolt insisted on camping in the middle of Tahrir, thousands of Egyptians sought inspiration from the poet Ahmed Fouad Negm (1929-2013) and recited one of his most famous verses. “Brave men are brave. Cowards are cowards. Come with the brave, together, to the square ”,

  • they cried. On February 11, 2011, the brave young men gathered in Cairo’s central square forced the resignation of dictator Hosni
  • Mubarak, after almost three decades of rule. The Arab Spring seemed to flourish democracy in a country
  • hungry for civil liberties. Egypt’s first elected president, Islamist Mohamed Morsy came to power on June 30, 2012.

A year later, he was overthrown by a military junta. Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, the coup leader, took charge of the country and, in June 2014, became the new head of state, with a suspicious 97.6% of the vote. All the dreams and aspirations pursued by the Tahrir youth, exactly seven years ago, gave way to a regime that crushed the opposition with an iron fist, tripled the death sentences

(60 in 2016 and 186 in the following year) and doubled the number of executions – 22, in 2015, and 44 in 2016. On January 19, Al-Sisi announced that he will attempt re-election in the election, which should take place between March 26 and 28. Detail: there will be no opponents. Continues after advertising

There are fewer freedoms now

than at any time since the army first came to power in 1952. Despite being dictator, former president Gamal Abdel Nasser was politically astute. Al-Sisi is a political neophyte, believes that politics poses a threat to him and, therefore, does his best to silence any behavior that has remote political implications ”, explained Robert Springborg,

visiting professor in the War Studies Department from King’s College, London, and a specialist from the Middle East Institute.Read the latest news in World According to Springborg, the of a regime. “This is exactly what Al-Sisi wants. The cost of this scenario involves not only political freedom, but also economic performance.

  • Since he cannot afford any independence, he surrounded himself with men unable to control the economy. The president of the Central Bank is the nephew of the former defense minister of Nasser, while the head of the Ministry of
  • Investments is the daughter of the head of the intelligence sector during the Nasser government, ”he added. Without expertise in economics, Egypt is falling back on social welfare.

Springborg admits that the Al-Sisi regime has modified key relationships between the three main pillars of the state: the presidency, the army and the security services. “The military now exercises direct control, while Al-Sisi regards military intelligence as the main support for his government. This subordinated other intelligence services, which, during the Mubarak regime,

Served as a counterweight to the military

”he noted. For the analyst, the military’s absolute dominance of power subordinated the rest of the government, civil society and the economy to the ex-general’s control. He does not hesitate to say that Al-Sisi’s model for Egypt is based on militarism. “He wants to subordinate everyone to centralized command. It is a 100% genuine dictatorship, like those of Bashar Al-Assad, Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi. ”

  • Transition. Egyptian political analyst Amr Khalifa recalls that his country has experienced multiple political
  • periods in the past seven years, since the revolution that ousted Mubarak. Between 2011 and 2012, the nation
  • was controlled by the supreme commander of the Armed Forces, in pursuit of the military control imposed in 1952. “The second era was dominated by Morsy and the Muslim

Brotherhood, the first presidential government, but also the product of an agreement of backstage with the military complex. This did not last until July 3, 2013, with a coup articulated by Al-Sisi ”, he quoted. Another 10-month transitional period ended with the election of Al-Sisi. “Only the fact that he obtained 97.6% of the votes should say a great deal about the state of politics in Egypt

What has transpired since that 11 February 2011 was the most repressive dictatorship in modern Egyptian history ”, he acknowledged.
Continues after advertising According to Khalifa, what distinguishes Al-Sisi from Mubarak is that the deposed dictator was guided by a strategic sense of domestic and foreign policies.

“Al-Sisi’s policy, in turn, depends on strength and its application.” More than 61,000 Egyptians are in prison just for their political beliefs. Last week, two journalists disappeared, and extrajudicial execution is suspected. The breeze of freedom that blew over Tahrir, that February night, gave way to dark times.

 

 

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