Egypt's inevitable return to military rule

20 March 2014

Army chief Al-Sisi is expected to be elected president, in a sign that Egyptians are desperate for stability

It is a widely accepted fact that Field Marshall Abdul Fattah al-Sisi will not only run for presidency of Egypt, but will also win the forthcoming elections. He is expected to announce his candidacy imminently.

Al-Sisi’s appointment will hark back to a previous era in Egypt when military-backed governments were the norm, an era brought to a dramatic end in early 2011 when President Hosni Mubarak was overthrown. Yet it is a situation that the majority of Egyptians seem prepared to accept in return for some vestige of stability and the promise of economic recovery.

There is also a lack of any alternatives on offer. Few want a Muslim Brotherhood-backed government to return to power after President Mohamed Mursi was ousted by the military last year. Mursi’s rule was characterised by many as a time of economic stagnation and attempts to increase the influence of the Brotherhood in parliament. The organisation has since been sidelined, leading to increased violence across Egypt. Inevitably, Egyptians are keen for a strong leader to restore order.

The other original architects of the revolution are no longer seen either. Mohamed el-Baradei, the former leader of the Constitution Party, who stood next to Al-Sisi during the television address following the 3 July 2013 revolution, has removed himself from the political scene. He stepped down from his role in the interim cabinet last August, following the violent clampdown by security forces on Brotherhood-backed sit-ins in Cairo’s squares.

Faced with limited choices, Al-Sisi seems to be the only viable option. The general Egyptian population are tired of three years of political uncertainty and are craving stability; something Al-Sisi promises to deliver.

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