Egyptians headed to the polls Monday in a presidential election that is all but certain to provide incumbent Abdel Fattah al-Sisi with a renewed four-year mandate. Sisi’s lone opponent, Moussa Mostafa Moussa, had, somewhat ironically, been leading a major campaign for Sisi’s re-election prior to himself registering as a candidate at the last possible moment. Many analysts thus construed the move as a coordinated effort to avoid the optics of a one-horse race; this, after Sisi’s government was widely criticized for forcibly sidelining potential rivals such as former military chief of staff Sami Anan, who was detained in January shortly after announcing his bid. Some 60 million Egyptians are registered to vote over the next three days and while the outcome is not in question many security concerns remain. The Islamic State’s Sinai-based affiliate—which has killed hundreds of soldiers and civilians in the vast desert region and intermittently in smaller attacks in and around major Egyptian cities—has threatened to target election-related installations. Sisi won his first term in 2014, a year after the former army chief ousted his Islamist predecessor Mohamed Morsi following mass protests against his rule. Official results of this week’s vote are expected on April 2.
Wake up to the Trusted Mideast News source Mideast Daily News Email