News / Africa

Analyst: Egyptian Presidential Candidate Will Legitimize General’s Bid

FILE - An image grab taken from Egyptian state TV shows Egypt's army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi giving a live broadcast calling for public rallies this week to give him a mandate to fight FILE - An image grab taken from Egyptian state TV shows Egypt's army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi giving a live broadcast calling for public rallies this week to give him a mandate to fight "terrorism and violence," as Mohamed Morsi's supporters con
x
FILE - An image grab taken from Egyptian state TV shows Egypt's army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi giving a live broadcast calling for public rallies this week to give him a mandate to fight
FILE - An image grab taken from Egyptian state TV shows Egypt's army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi giving a live broadcast calling for public rallies this week to give him a mandate to fight "terrorism and violence," as Mohamed Morsi's supporters con
James Butty
Middle East analyst Nezar Al-Sayyad said he is not surprised by activist Hamdeen Sabbahi’s announcement that he will run in Egypt’s presidential election scheduled to take place in April.

Sabbahi came third in the 2012 election won by now-ousted leader Mohamed Morsi. His announcement comes as it appears likely army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi will stand for the presidency as well. 

Al-Sayyad, chair of the University of California Berkeley’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies, said Sabbahi does not stand a chance to win.  Instead, he said his candidacy will legitimize Al-Sisi’s likely candidacy and cushion the general against Western criticism that April will be a one-man show. 

Al-Sayyad said Sabbahi’s second reason for announcing his candidacy is to position him to be chosen as prime minister after the election.

“The man has a claim to run, absolutely. I don’t think he has a chance and I think he’s actually running right now as a way of doing two things. One, doing a favor to Al-Sisi and, two, doing a favor to his own party,” he said.

Al-Sayyad said Sabbahi is doing a favor for Al-Sisi’s candidacy because most potential candidates have said they will not run.  And, if no one runs, the election will mirror the constitutional referendum in which Egypt’s government claimed 98 percent of the population voted in favor of the new constitution.

He said if that happens the whole world would probably condemn Egypt for conducting an unfair election.

Al-Sayyad said the second and most important reason for Sabbahi’s announcement is his own political future. Sabbahi is the leader of the Egyptian Popular Current and a co-leader of the National Salvation Front. 

“If in fact he runs, and if he succeeds in getting a good 10 to15 percent of the vote in the presidential election, that would certainly help him and his party in the parliamentary election later.  And, hence, he would be very well positioned to be chosen as prime minister by Al-Sisi, according to the Egyptian constitution which was passed in 2014,” Al-Sayyad said.

He said, while some Egyptians are uneasy about creating another dictatorship and might want to vote against an Al-Sisi candidacy, that scenario is not likely to succeed.

“It’s not going to happen because those who are totally against a military dictatorship are so disgusted with the presence of the military that they will not vote at all.  And so, in a sense, they will boycott the vote.  But, as we have seen from the constitutional referendum, if Al-Sisi is able to garner a good 15 million Egyptians to vote for him as president, he will be the legitimate president of the Republic of Egypt,” he said.

Al-Sayyad said Egyptians will have to accept the shift in public sentiments toward Al-Sisi, where he is seen by most Egyptians as their savior from the Muslim Brotherhood and someone who would bring security to Egypt.

While he says he does not know if the upcoming election can be considered free, it would be fair even if Al-Sisi wins by 90 percent because a wide spectrum of Egyptians, some of whom voted for Mohamed Morsi in 2012, are so disappointed because they feel that their condition has not changed for the better.

Al-Sayyad said this new hope that Egyptians have in Al-Sisi as their savior was partly orchestrated by the military through the media with the support of the old regime of [deposed President] Hosni Mubarak.
Butty interview with AlSayyad
Butty interview with AlSayyadi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs