In 2011 after weeks of protests by millions of Egyptians in Tahrir square in Cairo, Hosni Mubarak decided to resign. This was considered to be a huge victory for Egyptians across the country and was seen by many as the start of a new era in the country. A era of democracy and freedom. Indeed, the post Hosni Mubarak era started positive, in 2012 the first free general elections were held in Egypt and Muhammed Morsi was elected president. Yet his presidency was very short lived, and after months of protests against him, the military staged a coup and ousted him from power less than a year after he was sworn in as president.
The elections that followed were far from fair and Abdel Fatah El Sisi who was the army’s candidate won the elections comfortably. Since the start of El Sisi’s presidency its almost like Egypt has taken 1 step forward just to take two steps back. El Sisi’s government has chosen to supress press freedom, freedom of speech as well as the opposition in the country.
Presidential elections were held in Egypt and El Sisi won 97% of the votes. The result was very expected as Egyptian authorities have during the last year found several excuses to ban opposition candidates from taking part in the election. The only other candidate in the election was Moussa Mustafa Moussa who is known to be a El Sisi supporter.
The fact that Liverpool football star Mohamed Salah got more illegal votes in the election than Moussa reflects how little people in Egypt considered Moussa to be a viable oposition candidate. The Egyptian government took many measures to get people to the polls in order for the election results to have legitimacy however the final voter trun out was only 41%. It is therefore very clear that while El Sisi won 97% of the vote there may be substantial opposition against his rule throughout Egypt. The question is whether Egyptians are ready to take to the streets again to demand democracy and more freedom. El Sisi’s government has committed a lot of human right violations and attempt to control the media.
This is the exact type of regime that Egyptians protested against in 2011. Yet, the current government have already shown that they do not tolerate any opposition. In addition, the threat of ISIS in the Northern Sinai means that many Egyptians do not want the country to fall into chaos while it is at war with the terrorist group. Nevertheless, the economy of Egypt has not gotten better under El Sisi and this may be a major factor why people eventually start showing more discontent with El Sisi and his style of rule.
When a country has a good economy then instability can have a very negative impact on it. Yet, if Egypt’s economy continues to be bad the people may very well feel that they have little to loose. El Sisi is entering his second term in office, I believe it will be his most difficult one yet.