DEgyptian ruler Abd al-Fattah el-Sisi was not present when CBC invited presidential candidates to a video debate a few days ago. Instead, he sent a representative from his campaign team. This absence speaks volumes. The fact that the incumbent refuses to make such an appearance shows that he has nothing to fear from real competition. Sisi only has to deal with loyal opponents, usually expecting a landslide victory to be declared in the end. Not only experts critical of the regime, but also Egyptians themselves describe the presidential elections scheduled for this Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday as a performance of political theater.
And Cece, who is sometimes very sensitive to criticism, probably wouldn’t want to listen to some of what was said in the video session, no matter how true it was. They discussed the “catastrophic” economic situation, which particularly affects ordinary Egyptians. Even elections with a foregone conclusion seem to make the regime uncomfortable. Because it opens up the public space a little and carries the risk of undesirably stimulating the public’s imagination. “This event, while not serious, gives Egyptians an opportunity to imagine what their country might look like with a different president,” explains Timothy Kaldas of the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy think tank.
Source: Frantfurter Allgemeine