Sunday, January 12, 2014

General al-sisi seems to be closer to running for Egypt's Presidency

In Egypt, it no longer appears to be a question of if, but when army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi will declare his candidacy for president. For the second time in three days, local media reported on Monday that Sisi had finally made up his mind. 
With no other obvious candidates for the post, the general who deposed Islamist President Mohamed Mursi in July has kept Egyptians guessing about his intentions as the clock ticks down to the presidential vote that could happen as soon as April.
Sisi's candidacy would further deepen divisions between the many Egyptians who believe a firm hand is needed to steer the country through crisis and Islamists bearing the brunt of a state crackdown on dissent. 
There is little doubt Sisi would win the election, turning the clock back to the days when the presidency was controlled by men from the military - a pattern interrupted by Mursi's 2012 win and one year in office. 
Though Sisi enjoys broad support among those Egyptians happy to see the end of Mursi's rule, he is reviled by his Islamist opponents, who view him as the mastermind of a bloody military coup against the country's first freely elected head of state.
The army-backed government has mounted a crackdown on Mursi's Muslim Brotherhood, driving it underground and prompting fears of longer term instability. Prominent secular dissidents have also been arrested in a blow to political freedoms. 
But Sisi's supporters see him as the kind of strong man needed to bring stability after three years of turmoil. His face has appeared on posters and chocolates, he has been lionised by the media and songs have been dedicated to him and the army....
Read the full story HERE.

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