Egypt has come full circle; from the ouster of one military strongman to the welcome of another.
Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has been given approval to run for the presidential polls expected between 17 February and 18 April.
A field marshal who has been Commander-in-Chief of the Egyptian Armed Forces and Minister of Defense since August 2012, Sisi has earned, in a very short period of time, the support of the anti-Islamist public as well as the members of the army that toppled Mohamed Morsi’s government.
However, his election would – in so many ways – go against the principles that formed the basis of the 2011 Egyptian revolution that marked the end of a 30-year-old tyrannical regime under Hosni Mubarak – a former military commander.
Millions of Egyptians flooded the streets in June last year, only after a year of Morsi’s rule, demanding the resignation of the country’s first democratically-elected president of the country.
The event marked the largest demonstrations since 2011 and probably the biggest protests in the country’s history.
Morsi was eventually overthrown on 3 July 2013 only to be replaced by a military coup headed by Sisi and opposition leader Mohamed El Baradei.
A brutal crackdown was later initiated on the deposed leader’s organization, the notorious Islamist Muslim Brotherhood, leading to violence and bloodshed.
Making Abdel Fattah al-Sisi the next president of Egypt would mean three things:
1- Egyptians ousted an army strongman to elect another
2- Egyptians ousted a democratic president to elect a military commander
3- Egyptians ousted a democratic-Islamist president in favor of a military coup
It goes without saying that not one of these three deductions is – even remotely – democratic in nature.
Sisi may seem a popular choice right now, a lesser of the two evils, but he is known as someone who has no record as a democrat whatsoever and uses deadly force against those who disagree with him.
Moreover, it is believed that Sisi’s reputation for being a devout Muslim appealed to Morsi who then appointed the field marshal as the army chief of staff and defense minister in August 2012.
It appears that Egypt is heading – this time willingly – for another dictatorship that might also turn out to be Islamist.
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