Sunday, August 18, 2019 | ePaper

Power politics in Egypt

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A HUGE majority of Egypt's MPs on April 16 approved constitutional amendments to allow President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi in power until 2030. The amendments were initially introduced in February, however after lengthy debates and discussions favouring the Egyptian society it was updated earlier this week. "The president's current term shall expire at the end of six years from the date of his election as president in 2018," reported the official Al-Ahram news website and broadcaster Nile TV. "He can be re-elected for another (six-year) term."
Interesting matter is that, Egyptian MPs also approved amendments to allow military to have an upper hand in all political spheres of society, and to allow Sisi greater control over the judiciary. The amendments are expected to be put to a public referendum later this month. Everybody knows, what will be the result of referendum. The former Minister of Defense al-Sisi was elected as a sixth president of Egypt in 2014, after the former president Mohammed al-Morsi was revolted against by the young Egyptians when he utterly failed to fulfil the promises.
It's clear that allowing Sisi to stay in power till 2030 means the Egyptian people will have to see rule of a more powerful and more authoritarian Sisi. They will also have to face repression with more state-sponsored violence. Since Sisi had secured a second term in a largely unfree and unfair presidential election in March, his security forces have escalated a campaign of intimidation, violence, and arrests against political opponents and civil society activists. Even some others who have simply voiced mild criticism of the government failed to escape torture and intimidation.
An obnoxious situation has been created in Egypt when government continued to silence critics through arrests and unfair prosecutions of journalists and bloggers, and the parliament issued severely restrictive laws that further curtail freedom of speech and access to information. Egyptian authorities have placed hundreds of people and entities on terrorism list and seized their assets without any due process.
Exercising extreme authority on people in the guise of democracy won't bring any good result in the long run. The future of dictatorship is always miserable.

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