Egypt, The Land of the Pharaohs, has just elected its new leader, President Abdel-Fattah al Sisi. Who was the previous President of this glorious country? That’s easy! It was Abdel-Fattah al Sisi!
Actually, there was no real competition here. Although Egypt has over 100 registered political parties, only two candidates stood for election – al Sisi and his supporter Moussa Mostafa Moussa, who joined the race last minute.
Why would he do that? Well… to ensure the election looked like a real contest. It is believed that all the other candidates who wanted to stand for elections dropped out at the last minute. It is thought that they might have been scared off by the ruling al Sisi government.
It is reported that to try to get high turnout, voters were offered various incentives such as bags of free groceries or a token payment of $3 for casting their votes. Promises were made for better services and some were tempted with an opportunity for pilgrimage to Mecca. Those who did not turn up to vote were threatened with a fine. Still, fewer people voted in these elections than in the previous one, 4 years ago.
How long can al Sisi remain in power? Under Egyptian law, President al Sisi can only serve one more term and has to leave office in 2022. It will be interesting to see if he chooses to amend the constitution to change this.
Written by: Preetika Soni