Reflecting on recent years, the constitutional amendments endorsed by the Egyptian Parliament in 2019 not only provided General El-Sisi with a golden opportunity for a third term but were also meticulously designed to favor him in the imminent 2024 presidential election. Today, nearly four years later, these amendments have resurfaced in the minds of Egyptians, echoing their desire for new leadership and drawing the attention of global powers advocating for the restoration of political democracy—largely absent since El-Sisi’s ascent to power in 2014. Despite El-Sisi, who transitioned from a military background to politics through a coup against former President Mohammed Morsi, being well-positioned to secure victory in the upcoming election, skepticism persists, particularly among global powers like the United States, who perceive El-Sisi as being distant from democratic ideals.
Undoubtedly, U.S. concerns about El-Sisi are grounded in tangible issues, ranging from the perceived lack of democratic practices in Egyptian politics to freedom of the press, and the suppression of political dissent. The absence of many democratic principles in Egypt is evident, manifested through restrictions on political freedoms, widespread censorship, and the stifling of opposition voices. Hence, arguably, today, the challenges to democratic values in the Egyptian political landscape surpass the aforementioned description under El-Sisi’s leadership.
The historical context of Egyptian elections unveils a troubled history characterized by manipulations in election results. Previous instances of contested outcomes and allegations of electoral irregularities have left a lasting imprint on both the international community and the United States. Consequently, these experiences and the practices employed by the El-Sisi regime cast doubt on the anticipated election results, further deepening U.S. skepticism toward the El-Sisi regime.
In the arena of human rights, hundreds of advocates, individuals from both secular and Islamist backgrounds, along with various segments of Egyptian society, are often incarcerated as perceived adversaries of the state. Such people facing scrutiny endure serious consequences, including court-imposed travel restrictions, asset freezing, and a disqualification from holding public office in the Egyptian government for several years.
In the lead-up to the Egyptian election, global attention is riveted on how these concerns will shape unfolding events, spanning a spectrum of expectations from hope to skepticism. The United States, a pivotal global observer, maintains a watchful gaze, delicately balancing optimism with wariness. The focus revolves around whether the democratic aspirations of the Egyptian people will resonate in the electoral process, fostering progress and political evolution. Amidst the intricate dance of global powers in the diplomatic arena, there’s a shared acknowledgment that the outcome carries implications beyond Egypt, reaching into broader regional stability and international relations.
The intricacies surrounding El-Sisi’s leadership and the historical roots of Egyptian politics add layers to this anticipation. Lingering doubts and skepticism, notably from influential actors like the United States, underscore the complexities in play. The imminent election stands at a pivotal crossroads, where the people’s aspirations intersect with global geopolitical dynamics, marking a decisive moment in Egypt’s political narrative. Only as the electoral saga unfolds will the world discern whether it heralds a transformative chapter or deepens the shadows of doubt on the international stage.