Egypt Presidential Election, 2014: The Deal is Sealed

On Sunday April 20, 2014 the Presidential Electoral Commission closed its doors. The only presidential hopefuls who succeeded to get the number of endorsement forms needed for candidacy were of course Abd El Fattah El Sisi and Hamdeen Sabahy. Both hopefuls needed at least 25,000 endorsements to be accepted for candidacy. While Sisi collected  almost 189,000 endorsements, his sole rival Sabahy collected 31,555 endorsements. If someone needed more proof that Sisi will be Egypt's next president this was it. On May 2nd, both were officially announced as the only presidential candidates of Egypt's 2014 presidential elections. And the game begins....

The one question that remains unanswered is why did Sabahy choose to run for president when it's already known that Sisi is the winner? It's not like Sisi is going to be the next president just because he has a greater number of supporters, but also because he is the man of the old regime that is although not in power anymore is still in control. In the past 10 months the campaigns made for Sisi, the decisions taken by the government, the men coming to power have each taken us one step closer to the Egypt we've known before January 2011.

Sisi is endorsed by old regime parties like those of Tayyar El Esteklal, the prime minister, Ibrahim Mehleb who was appointed to hold the election was not only a member of Mubarak's National Democratic Party, but also of its political committee that was lead by Gamal Mubarak. Last but not least Sisi is not only a military leader, he himself is a member of the old regime and a member of the 2011 Supreme Council of Armed Forces. Knowing all this means that the men in power want Sisi, and that he is winning the election whether we like it or not.

Sabahy sells himself as the revolutionary candidate, the one that shall make the revolution's dreams come true. He sells himself as the leftist who is "one of us", who cares about the poor. He sells himself as the revolution's option and had he any chance of winning, this presidential bid would have been a great idea. Yet Sabahy knows, just like anyone knows that this election is not a real one, that it is controlled by people and even countries that are much stronger than the ballot boxes, so why did Sabahy choose to run anyway?

Was he blinded by the love of power? Blinded so much that he thinks he stands a chance? Does he want to stay popular for the "revolutionary candidate who had a big chance of winning" twice and not once? Or is there a hidden reason for him to run?

What would this election be like had Sabahy decided not to run? What would it be like if it were Sisi against some one from the likes of Moratada Mansour? It would've looked so unrealistic, even more than it does now. Is this how Sisi wants it to look like? Or does he want it to look like he has a strong rival that he is even stronger than? Does Sisi want this election to look real? Isn't it on Sisi's best interest that this election looks real to stop anyone from saying that what happened on July 3rd was a coup? Could Sabahy be playing a role for Sisi? In the times when many are selling their morals, could Sabahy have sold himself? I have no answer to this question.


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