Sisi’s Control of Egypt Is Absolute

While his election victory came as no surprise, consolidating further political control while addressing economic and security challenges could be a challenge.

 It would be a significant stretch to call Egypt’s recent election competitive. There were only two candidates on the ballot: current President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, and one of Sisi’s supporters. It would also be difficult to describe the environment in Egypt in the run up to the polls as free and fair, when several candidates dropped out of the race, citing the closed environment. Two of them were actually detained by the authorities.Preliminary unconfirmed figures reported from Egypt’s state media on March 29 indicated that around 42 percent of the public turned out to vote during the elections, which were held from March 26 to March 28, as compared to the state’s reported 47.5 percent in 2014, the last presidential election. Of those voters, 92 percent voted for Sisi, with a number of news reports indicating strong state efforts to mobilize voters. Opposition groups claimed the exercise was unfair. Indeed, spoiled ballots reportedly exceeded the number of ballots cast for Sisi’s challenger by more than two to one—an even greater share than in 2014.