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 "terrorism and violence," as Mohamed Morsi's supporters conFILE - 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 "terrorism and violence," as Mohamed Morsi's supporters con
    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 Rubio Looks to Surge in New Hampshire

    Republican presidential candidate has moved into second place in several recent surveys and appears to be gaining ground on longtime frontrunner Donald Trump

    UN Calls for Global Ban on Female Genital Mutilation

    Recent UNICEF report finds at least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation in 30 countries

    UN Pilots New Peace Approach in CAR

    Approach launched in northern town of Kaga Bandoro, where former combatants of mainly Muslim Seleka armed group and Christian and animist anti-Balaka movement are being paid to do community work

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

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.