Publikation State / Democracy - Political Parties / Election Analyses - North Africa Restoring the ancient order

Presidential elections in Egypt ensure the power of the Military. Analysis by Sofian Philip Naceur.





Juni 2014


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After the victory of Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in Egypt's latest Presidential elections, the military establishment holds again the office of the State President and thus renewed its direct political rule of the country.

Abdel Fattah el-Sisi – former Minister of Defence and Army Chief, who had a leading role in the ouster of the Islamist President Mohamed Mursi, a former member of the Muslim Brotherhood, in July 2013 – has won the Presidential elections in Egypt with a landslide victory. According to official figures, el-Sisi gained 96.9 per cent of the votes. His only opponent, the leftist politician and head of the Dignity Party (Hizb al-Karama) Hamdeen Sabahi, won only 3.1 per cent. Three and a half years after the dawn of Egypt's revolution and eleven months after Mursi was toppled, the political order in Egypt, dominated by its powerful military apparatus is completely restored.

The ballot was largely quiet. The National Alliance to Support Legitimacy (NASL), a coalition of several Islamist forces lead by the Muslim Brotherhood, has called for nationwide protests against the election, but the presence of their supporters in the streets remained weak. Shortly before the election, supporters of the ousted Islamist president gathered in several governorates for the first time within weeks to protest against the – in their view – illegitimate ballot. In Helwan south of Egypt's capital Cairo, at least two protesters died in clashes with security forces. Tensions remained high during the election and clashes continued after polling stations were closed. In Fayoum, a Muslim Brotherhood stronghold south of Cairo, and in Cairo's Heliopolis district, some explosive devices detonated without causing appreciable damage.

Sabahi's official election campaign complained on the first day of the vote of massive violations against Egypt's Presidential Election Law. Army and police forces, deployed at polling stations to secure the ballot, refused members of Sabahi's campaign entrance to polling stations to observe the elections and prevented some Sabahi supporters from casting their vote in favour of their candidate, according to Sabahi's campaign. In some polling stations, members of Sabahi's campaign were temporarely arrested. Sabahi filed an official complaint to the Presidential Elections Committee (PEC), the legislative body in charge of supervising the elections and validating the results, against the provisional turnout figures published by the PEC. Sabahi also complained about the campaigning inside polling stations in favour of el-Sisi,[1] which is strictly forbidden by law; the detention of some of his supporters, and the controversial extension of the vote for one day. The PEC objected all official complaints.

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