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

Tired of Waiting, South Africans Demand Change ‘Now’

With chronic poverty and lack of basic services largely fueling recent xenophobic attacks, many in Rainbow Nation say it’s time for government to act More

Challenges Ahead for China's Development Plans in Pakistan

Planned $46 billion in energy and infrastructure investments in Pakistan are aimed at transforming the country into a regional hub for trade and investment More

Audio 'Forbidden City' Revisits Little Known Era of Asian-American Entertainment

Little-known chapter of entertainment history captured in 80s documentary is revisited in new digitally remastered format and book 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.
Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populationsi
X
April 24, 2015 10:13 PM
A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.

VOA Blogs