Cairo, 20 December 2023 (TDI): Abdel Fattah el-Sisi was elected as Egypt’s President for a consecutive third, six-year term by clean-sweeping the elections with an overwhelming majority on Monday. According to the National Election Authority, el-Sisi secured 89.6% of the total votes successfully.
El-Sisi was elected president for the first time in mid-2014, and he was re-elected in 2018. A year later, amendments to the constitution approved in a public vote extended el-Sisi’s second term by two years. This enabled him to stand for an additional six-year tenure in 2023.
The recent landslide victory acquired by President Abdel Fattah holds a significant status amidst an ongoing escalating Israel-Hamas war in the neighborhood and deteriorating economic conditions which has been grappled Egypt.
Faltering Egypt’s economy
In Egypt, inflation yearly has been hovering at 36.4 percent, driving up the prices of some food necessities by the week and putting a strain on household finances in the country of roughly 106 million people.
Before the onset of the present economic crisis, over two-thirds of Egypt’s population lived on or around the poverty level.
The current crisis is majorly due to years of mismanagement and an imbalanced economy in which private firms were forced out by state-owned enterprises. The wider ramifications of the coronavirus outbreak, as well as Russia’s prolonged war in Ukraine, have severely harmed the Egyptian economy.
In 2016, El-Sisi’s government launched a comprehensive IMF-backed restructuring programme, but its austerity policies drove up prices, putting a significant burden on common Egyptians.
In December 2022, the government obtained a second IMF agreement in exchange for promising to execute economic reforms, particularly a floating currency rate. Since then, the cost of essential products has risen, notably imports.
Fattah el-Sisi’s electoral victory
The vote was cast by 66.8% of over 67 million registered voters. “The voting percentage is among the highest in Egypt’s history,” said Hazem Badawy, the head of the election commission, who delivered the official results in a nationally broadcast news conference.
The former army leader outperformed three low-profile contenders, with the runner-up receiving only 4.5% of the vote.
As el-Sisi begins his third term, his main issue will be to manage a raging economic crisis fueled by significant foreign borrowing to finance a massive infrastructure program that includes the creation of new capital on the outer edges of Cairo.
In the months leading up to the election, Abdel Fattah promised to improve the country’s struggling economy without providing a clear strategy.
The voting was clouded by the Israel-Hamas conflict in Gaza, which is poised to spill over into greater regional upheaval. Some voters stated the Israel-Gaza conflict had influenced their decision to vote for Sisi, who has regarded the conflict as Egypt’s major problem.
“Egyptians queued up to vote not only to elect their nation’s leader for the next term but to demonstrate their disapproval of this barbaric war to the entire world,” Sisi said in a speech following the announcement of the results.
The United Nations has warned that the disastrous conditions caused by Israel’s incursion might push desperate Palestinians into Egypt. Sisi has accused Israel of attempting to drive out Gazans to Egypt and has often condemned what he calls the “liquidation of the Palestinian movement at the cost of neighbors.”