As Egypt's presidential election looms, incumbent President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi is poised for a third term, made possible by 2019 constitutional amendments that extended presidential terms. A former army chief who overthrew Mohamed Mursi in 2013, Sisi has held power since 2014, his reign marked by an intense crack down on dissent that has resulted in the incarceration of tens of thousands, including Brotherhood leaders and liberal activists.
A Challenged Opposition
Despite the allegations of arrests and campaign interference, which Egypt's National Election Authority brushed off as unfounded, the most notable potential opposition candidate bowed out of the race. The remaining opposition consists of Farid Zahran, a seasoned leftist politician and leader of the Egyptian Social Democratic Party, who calls for limiting state ownership in the economy; Abdel Sanad Yamama, a 71-year-old lawyer and academic running for the Wafd Party, who advocates for a two-term presidential limit and economic reform; and Hazem Omar, the youngest candidate at 59, a former Senate foreign affairs committee chair who prioritizes healthcare, education, and local economic development.
The Election and its Implications
Egypt's presidential election, scheduled for Dec. 10-12, could set the tone for national politics in the coming years. A unanimous vote for Sisi would solidify his authority and grant him another six years in power. However, widespread voter apathy and Sisi's near-certain victory have led to predictions of low voter turnout.
Approximately 67 million Egyptians above the age of 18 are eligible to vote in the upcoming election, the results of which are due to be announced on Dec. 18. While the election's outcome seems almost certain, it will undoubtedly impact Egypt's political landscape and set the stage for the country's future.