Mmegi Blogs :: Brutal rape of democracy in Egypt
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Last Updated
Wednesday 19 September 2018, 14:07 pm.
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Brutal rape of democracy in Egypt

This past weekend marked the beginning of the first round of voting in Egyptian 'democratic' elections. Egyptians in the Diaspora voted last weekend and the second round of voting would take place by the time you will be reading this article.
By Solly Rakgomo Fri 23 Mar 2018, 22:45 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Blogs :: Brutal rape of democracy in Egypt








No one must be reminded that in the mother continent of Africa, elections and controversy are always within a touching distance within each other.

In other words elections in many parts of Africa always attract headline news for wrong reasons.

It is during election t when African politicians especially incumbents  engage in all manner of political chicanery with intention to  create a toxic atmosphere that would ultimately tilt election out comes to their favour, thus ensuring an extended but undeserved shelf life in power.

Egypt is another case in point where President Fatah Al Sisi, a former military strongman who was instrumental in the 2013 coup that overthrew the first ever democratically elected government of  Mahommed Morsi ( of the popular Muslim Brotherhood) is seeking another term after winning the controversial  ‘elections’ in 2014 ( which he garnered a massive ninety percent of popular vote)

Fatah Al-Sisi who has ruled Egypt with a brutal iron fist since 2014 has ensured that the legacy of former dictators in the mould of Gamal Abdel Nasser, Anwar Sadat and Hosni Mubarak is kept intact.

Except for Mahommed Morsi whose presidency has only lasted for a mere twelve months, Egypt has for nearly seventy years being ruled by hard-line undemocratic leaders all with  a deep military background.

Since the overthrow of the monarchy of King Farouk in 1952 during the Egyptian Revolution by the military, the country saw charismatic but iron fisted Gamal Abdel Nasser taking the presidency from 1954 to 1970. 

A popular figure in the Arab world due to his Pan Arab Nationalistic rhetoric, Nasser through his ambitious Arab socialism motivated him to brutally repress and even assassinate political opponents who attempted to offer an alternative political voice in Egypt.

For example, the popular Muslim Brotherhood leaders and think tanks such as Sayeed Qutb whose vision for the future of Egypt was based on political Islam than socialism were brutally silenced through death, long and harsh jail terms.

When he died in 1970 his successor Anwar Sadat, though not a socialist, continued the repressive iron fist rule to safeguard his stay in power. Political dissent was viewed with disdain during his era.

Persecution of political opponents, corruption and neglect of the poor continued until he was assassinated in 1981.

In his place came another military commander by the name Hosni Mubarak. For the next thirty years he suppressed any political reform to give space and freedom to opposition parties.

The torture, intimidation and merciless

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killings of the members of the ever popular Muslim Brotherhood intensified under his rule.

The only semblance of elections in Egypt was some skewed referendums which ensured more extended terms in office. Full democratic participation during the Mubarak era like that of his predecessors was taboo.

It was only after the Arab Spring which has spread its tentacles from Tunisia through Libya reached Egypt where finally Mubarak was forced to step down in 2011.

The first ever democratic elections of 2012 ushered in Mahommed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood to power. This marked a new era in Egypt as the Morsi regime was the first ever democratically elected government in Egyptian history. 

The democracy honeymoon however lasted for only a year after which Morsi was ousted in a military coup that ultimately brought back the military under Fatah Al Sisi to power in dubious elections that would never pass the basic test of democratic elections.

Now with his term having come to an end, Fatah Al Sisi has declared his candidacy for reelection and has devised and put all illegal systems in place to ensure no viable political opponent is given any space to contest these elections.

Strong candidates like Ahmed Shafik, Abu el Fatough and Samir Anan have all been arrested, tortured, intimidated and threatened with death to such an extent that they all have given up on standing for elections. Dubious charges were even brought against Samir Anan who is a former military commander that he “failed to seek for permission from the military to run for elections!”  

Fatah al Sisi is now left with nothing but a weak candidate who cannot even garner a mere two percent of the popular vote.  Mousa Mostapha Mousa of the Ghad Party is an utterly weak candidate who cannot competitively offer any political alternative to Fatah Al Sisi and shockingly Mousa is the only candidate who endorsed Al Sisi when declared his candidacy. 

Death threats will keep hanging upon the heads of those sidelined strong opponents until Sisi is confident and very sure that he is back at the apex of power.

This hoax, masqueraded as a democracy is nothing but more of a referendum with one strong candidates against a political non entity. The lack of fairness and freedom in these elections is nothing but a brutal rape of democracy, a democracy which ordinary poor citizens from African countries such as   Egypt are in desperate need of.

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