19 May 2014

Egypt's Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and déjà vu

That Egyptian general Abdel Fattah el-Sisi intends to return the country to military rule becomes increasingly clear. Leader of the July 2013 coup against then President Mohamed Morsi, Sisi is running in the May 26-27 presidential election which he is expected to win in a landslide. He is highly popular and is systematically eliminating the military's major opposition, the Muslim Brotherhood. Security forces have killed hundreds of Brotherhood members in the streets, arrested thousands and recently a court sentenced 529 to execution. The Brotherhood has been banned and declared a terrorist organization even though it has repeatedly denounced terrorism.

Brutally oppressing the Brotherhood is only the beginning. Recently he lectured the press on how he expects them to behave, warning them not to push for freedom of speech and other rights, saying demands for greater freedom jeopardized national security. He further instructed them not to advocate for major reforms to state institutions or to expose corruption.

He believes elected civilian officials should not have political and economic power over the military and has helped expand the economic dominance of the military, which already exerts control over a wide array of industries. Ownership of the economy has long been the most treasured prize for the generals.

The efforts of progressives, the inspiring rallies for democracy and human rights in Tahrir Square, the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak, Egypt's version of the Arab Spring, are all to be lost, all fading away as Egypt returns to the dark days of military dictatorship. A very sad day for democracy.

Sisi once said he wouldn't run for the nation's highest office, but then he had a dream that he would one day become president and naturally he had to follow his dream. That dream, it seems, will now return Egypt to an old nightmare.

1 comment:

  1. It's very much to the liking of the US, Israel and Saudi Arabia.