Abdelfattah al-Sisi wins Egypt’s presidential elections; Azhar Professor Hassan Wagieh hopes al-Sisi will bring stability to Egypt

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Mon, 2014-05-26
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No one in the streets of Egypt has any doubt about former Field Marshall Abdelfattah al-Sisi to win the presidential elections on May 26 and 27. The question, however, is what percentage of the electorate will go to the polls. The total number of votes al-Sisi will be able to obtain is also of importance. Will this be more then ousted president Morsi? And how will he deal with the Muslim Brothers that was declared to be a terrorist organization a few months ago? 

Abdelfattah al-Sisi has been campaigning a lot. He is widely popular. Many Egyptians I meet throughout the country (from Dimyana in the northern Delta to al-Qussia north of Assiut) stated they would vote for him because they argue that Egypt needs a strong man. That wish is not strange. The country has been largely in chaos since the revolution of January 25, 2011, and people want security and an economic recovery. But in order to get a sufficiently large percentage of the electorate to the polling stations, he will also need to convince those to vote who believe voting is more or less useless since the outcome is known. Or convince those who are opposed to a candidate with an army background; Al-Sisi resigned from the army and presents himself as a civilian.

Al-Sisi’s posters are seen all over the country. Posters of his opponent, Hamdin el-Sabahi can be seen but el-Sabahi does not come close to the visibility of al-Sisi. Morsi’s supporters have been burning posters and banners of al-Sisi but new posters or banners quickly replaced those.

It is clear that al-Sisi’s main opponents are the Muslim Brothers, and not Hamdin el-Sabahi. They, however, boycott the elections and make efforts to obstruct the elections as much as possible. Political assassinations are continuing with attacks on police and army personnel.

Egypt has been responding with repressive measures and massive numbers of death penalties. Amnesty International and the Western media have been focusing on government human rights violations, rarely placing this in the context of these political assassinations. They also widely published the death penalties for hundreds of Muslim Brothers or Morsi fans without taking into consideration this is not the final judgment. This angers Prof. Dr. Hassan Wagieh, head of the English language department of the Azhar, who believes such one-sided reporting is not only unjust but also feeds the pro-Brotherhood sentiments in the West. Dr. Wagieh does not justify human rights violations and he is opposed to the death penalty of hundreds of people, but widespread one-sided Western reporting about this makes him angry.

Interested in what else Prof. Wagieh's has to say? Read the full article here.


Cornelis Hulsman

Editor-in-chief,  Arab-West Report