It was announced by media outlets in Egypt and beyond on December 18 that long-serving President Abdul Fattah Al-Sisi secured a third term in office.
Elections took place from 10-12 December and Egyptians overseas voted on 1-3 December as polling prior to the vote suggested that Sisi’s victory was almost certain.
It now means that the incumbent, a former army chief, will be at the helm of Egypt until at least 2029 barring an unlikely resignation. The President won’t be allowed to run again at the end of his third term.
Sisi, who ran a highly divisive campaign, got 89.6% of the vote in a conclusive victory. The runner-up, Hazem Omar only polled at 4.5%. with the other two hopefuls, Abdel-Sanad and Farid Zahran, acquiring the remainder of the vote share.
Leading opposition candidate Ahmed Tantawy pulled out of the presidential race months prior to the vote, citing violence and intimidation against his campaigning stalls and headquarters.
Sisi’s critics say that he is responsible for a severe economic decline in the African country as a result of draining key economic resources.
Since his rise to power back in 2014, huge sums of money have been spent on major infrastructure projects, roads have been expanded and a new capital costing billions of dollars has been constructed near Cairo but is barely populated.
In the past year, the Egyptian pound has lost more than 50% of its value against the US dollar as Egypt’s tumbling economy and the bloodshed in neighbouring Gaza were key issues for the electorate. Sisi presented himself as the most pro-Palestinian candidate in a region where solidarity with their struggle in strong.
Last month, there were speculations that Gazans could be resettled to the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt by the Israeli government. A controversial move condemned by the international community.
1.6 million of the Palestinian enclave’s 2.2 million population have been displaced as well as 19,000 having been murdered due to Israel’s pummeling of Gaza since October.
Human rights groups have criticied the President for his crackdown on dissenting voices. Global NGO Amnesty International noted in September 2022, “Authorities in Egypt have shown no genuine will to acknowledge, let alone address, the country’s deep-rooted human rights crisis despite launching a National Human Rights Strategy one year ago. Instead, they have continued to stifle freedoms and commit crimes under international law,”
His reelection will be a deep concern for rights groups around the globe and for dissenters in Egypt.
AFP/ Reuters/ The Times