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President Sisi Secures Third Term Amid Economic Challenges

Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has clinched a third term, garnering 89.6% of the vote in the nation’s latest election, held from December 10-12. Despite economic hardships and regional tensions, Sisi’s victory was anticipated, given the limited opposition.

Economic Crisis and Regional Challenges

1. Economic Turmoil: Egypt faces a severe economic crisis marked by a 36.4% annual inflation rate, impacting household budgets. Even before the crisis, about two-thirds of the population lived on or below the poverty line.

2. Regional Tensions: The victory comes amid heightened regional tensions stemming from the Israel-Hamas war in neighboring Gaza, adding to the challenges faced by Sisi’s administration.

Political Landscape

3. Lack of Serious Competition: A decade-long crackdown on dissent left little room for serious competition, ensuring Sisi’s dominance. He becomes Egypt’s fifth president from the military since 1952.

4. Previous Victories: This marks Sisi’s third landslide victory, though with his smallest margin. In 2014 and 2018, he won over 96% of the vote.

Election Details

5. Turnout and Candidates: Turnout was reported as “unprecedented” at 66.8% of 67 million registered voters, a notable increase from previous elections. However, signs of a competitive election were scarce, with Sisi’s campaign dominating. The runner-up, Hazem Omar, received only 4.5% of the vote.

6. Limited Opposition Presence: Campaign posters for Sisi dominated Cairo, reflecting a lack of visibility for other candidates. Many voters admitted they were unfamiliar with alternative candidates.

Sisi’s Background and Policies

7. Sisimania and Initial Popularity: Initially popular, Sisi’s image adorned various items during the “Sisimania” phase. However, enthusiasm has waned, though he maintains a support base.

8. Security and Economic Reforms: Sisi is credited with restoring public order after political violence following the 2011 uprising. Economic reforms pursued from 2016 onward, in pursuit of IMF loans, have led to austerity measures and multiple currency devaluations.

9. Mega Projects and Economic Challenges: Expensive mega-projects, including a $58 billion-dollar new capital city, have contributed to a more than tripled national debt. The economy is in decline, marked by a foreign currency shortage, a surging parallel market, and rising consumer prices.

Questions Related to Exams

Q: Who won Egypt’s recent presidential election?

A: Abdel Fattah al-Sisi secured a third term with 89.6% of the vote.

Q: What challenges does Egypt face post-election?

A: Economic turmoil, marked by a 36.4% inflation rate, and regional tensions from the Israel-Hamas war pose significant challenges.

Q: How competitive was the election?

A: Limited opposition due to a decade-long crackdown; Sisi’s victory was expected. Turnout was “unprecedented” at 66.8%.

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