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Essay About Egyptian Elections

With spectacular, record-breaking precision, Egypt's ruling dictatorship upended a would-be multi-candidate presidential election in just under 18 days of dramatic arrests, court martials and smear campaigns.

Skepticism aside about the validity of holding this election while the country is under emergency law, its prisons bloated with over 60,000 political detainees and its independent media either blocked, intimidated or behind bars, when the National Election Commission (NEC) announced the official timeline for the polls on 8 January, it seemed to be stirring up stagnant waters.

A foregone conclusion

There was certainly no doubt about the expected results of this race. It was a foregone conclusion that incumbent Abdel Fattah al-Sisi was going to retain his position as autocrat-in-chief. Still, the prospect of going through the motions was something some people looked forward to, perhaps as a form of entertainment or a chance to convince themselves that they still have some agency or that indeed, as the NEC motto promises, their "voice will be heard".

For weeks, there was talk of a possible bid by former general and 2012 presidential election runner-up Ahmed Shafiq, a holdover from the ousted Mubarak regime.

It had become apparent beyond a shadow of a doubt that the regime was not even interested in the charade, nor in any peaceful transfer of power

Another bid by young lawyer and human rights activist Khaled Ali sparked a flurry of debate among the "revolutionaries" about whether to boycott the race or to partake in a flawed election for its "symbolic" value and the chance to expose to the world that all is not well in the Gift of the Nile.

Even before the NEC declared the election dates, Ali had announced his bid, despite facing a court verdict that would have disqualified him before voting day anyway. Ali is appealing the ruling.

Shafiq, too, made his announcement from self-imposed exile in the United Arab Emirates and yet another little-known military officer Ahmed Konsowa declared his intention to face off against his boss in a video that made the rounds on social media.

What happened next was phenomenal in its barefaced affront to the very basic principles of a democratic process, or at the very least, the appearance of one. Konsowa was arrested, court-martialled and handed a six-year prison term for "violating military code and publishing a video in which he espoused political views".

It didn't matter that he had been fighting multiple court cases to resign from his army position for over three years. Shafiq was deported to Egypt from the UAE and, after being held at a luxury hotel in Cairo for days, revoked his decision to run.

The unexpected

Then just as we were all getting comfortable with the familiar stories of security harassment and intimidation of Ali's supporters, it emerged that Mohamed Anwar Sadat, the nephew of former president Anwar Sadat, was trying to get his foot in the door too.

He was eventually forced to quit before ever starting, declaring that the pressure was so intense that no banquet hall would agree to host his news conference and that he feared for the safety of his campaign members.

People walk into a school used as a polling station as soldiers guard outside during the run-off to the first round of parliamentary election in Imbaba, Giza governorate, Egypt 27 October 2015 (Reuters)

And while Ali continued to raise grievances to a tone-deaf NEC, claiming that his supporters were prevented from submitting some 25,000 powers of attorney necessary to formalise his candidacy (a prohibitive requirement to meet in just under 20 days) Sisi made his expected bid on 20 January with the official endorsement of 464 of his rubberstamp parliament's 596 MPs, which was theatrically announced on the very same day.

Then the unexpected happened.

Within 24 hours, the former Armed Forces chief of staff, Sami Anan, announced his bid for the presidency in a five-minute video posted on his official Facebook and YouTube pages.

Civilian vice presidents?

He said his candidacy comes amid a number of challenges, including terrorism, a deterioration of living standards, as well as the failure of the Egyptian state to deal with land, water and national resources issues. Anan emphasised the need for separation of powers and the rule of law, and bemoaned civil society's inability to play its role.

The former general, who was forced into retirement by then president Mohamed Morsi in August 2012, himself ousted in a military coup a year later, appeared in civilian attire.

He added that he would submit his candidacy documents to the NEC after completing all requirements as a former army chief of staff in accordance with military law, urging civilian and military state institutions to refrain from exercising unconstitutional bias toward a president who might "leave his chair in a few months".

Theories and counter-theories have long abounded about the animosity between Sisi and Anan but now, and for the first time, they have aired their dirty laundry in public

Perhaps the most significant part of the speech, one which blindsided even the most virulent opponents of military rule, of which Anan is merely a new iteration, was the fact that he decided to appoint a team of two civilian vice presidents.

He named Hisham Geneina as his would-be vice president for human rights and transparency. Geneina is the embattled former head of Egypt's corruption watchdog, the Central Auditing Authority (CAA), who, in a historic precedent in 2016, was practically removed from office by presidential decree and later slapped with a one-year suspended sentence for "disseminating false news" during a massive corruption probe. 

Anan also named as vice president for a revolution in knowledge and as his official spokesperson Cairo University's political science professor Hazem Hosny.

With the adoption of the 2014 constitution, as with its 2012 predecessor, the position of vice-president was abolished. So his announcement rendered Anan's intervention and language the potency of a long-overdue adrenalin shot needed for a body politic that had flat-lined for years, but wasn't quite dead.

Yet before the ink dried on pundits' column inches and TV hosts were ready to charge in with their smear campaigns, Anan was arrested in his car less than two days later.

No peaceful transfer of power

In an official televised statement, the Armed Forces said that his bid for office without permission from the military leadership aimed to incite a rift between the Armed Forces and the public.

The statement also accused Anan of forging his end-of-service documents, claiming that the septuagenarian was still a military reserve officer and that they had the papers to prove it. He is currently being held at an undisclosed location with no access to a lawyer or to his family. 

The fact that Sisi's 2014 bid had followed the exact same steps and that he even made his announcement in full military regalia, seems to have dropped out of the archive of selective memory of the Armed Forces altogether.


After Sisi's purge of rivals, is he safe from the generals?

Just one day after that, Ali withdrew from the "race" as it had become apparent beyond a shadow of a doubt that the regime was not even interested in the charade, nor in any peaceful transfer of power.

The bizarre turn of events didn't stop there. Two days later, Geneina was reportedly assaulted as he was leaving his home.

At the police station where he filed a complaint, he was denied treatment, as the story quickly mutated into an all-too-familiar "road accident" fictionalised version where Geneina hit a man and tried to flee but was tackled and dragged to the precinct by a "poor and marginalised" indignant mob.

Theories and counter-theories have long abounded about the animosity between Sisi and Anan but now, and for the first time, they have aired their dirty laundry in public. Sisi appeared incensed at a public rally, vowing to stop the "corrupt" from coming anywhere near the presidential seat in a clear reference to Anan.

But if he knew that Anan was corrupt all along, why didn't he have him investigated, arrested, sequestered, and assets frozen as he so effortlessly did with hundreds of innocent families?

The emperor's new clothes

These are the actions of an emperor in his new clothes who suddenly realises that he's as naked as the day he was born.

Sisi can vote for himself at a referendum in March, or allow this fiasco to continue in a role-play against the new kid on the block, Mousa Mostafa Mousa, who leads the al-Ghad Party and was clearly "approached" to fulfil his national duty of legitimising this so-called election.

Sisi made his expected bid on January 20 with the official endorsement of 464 of his rubberstamp parliament’s 596 MPs (REUTERS)

It appears that Moussa has had an extraordinary change of heart since then. Just as recently as last week, he had endorsed Sisi for a second term and reportedly organised an event to help nominate him.

Despite that, he was miraculously able to meet the application deadline on Monday with a landslide endorsement of 47,000 pledges (almost double the required number) and the backing of 27 MPs.

The last-minute bid by anyone was necessary because otherwise five percent of all eligible voters will have to turn up at a referendum and vote yes for Sisi, a risk he cannot possibly afford to take just to keep up appearances.


Why Khaled Ali is a source of anxiety for Sisi's regime

Ironically, all this drama unfolded on the eve of the seventh anniversary of the 25 January uprisings. This is a piercing reminder of our collective failure to see this revolution to the end, to come together as one voice against military dictatorship.

But it is also a reminder of a very similar moment in recent history when figureheads of an arrogant ruling National Democratic Party snubbed the opposition following the 2010 parliamentary elections, sarcastically urging them to "have fun on the losers' side".

Less than 40 days after the NDP's "sweeping victory" at the polls, their headquarters in downtown Cairo were burnt to the ground and, 18 days later, history was made on 25 January 2011.

Rania Al Malky is the former editor-in-chief of Daily News Egypt (2006-2012), which was the local publishing partner of the International Herald Tribune. She is currently a freelance contributor for various publications.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Eye

Photo: A volunteer and supporter of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi waits approval to fill in a form of the campaign titled, "Alashan Tabneeha”"(So You Can Build It), that demands al-Sisi to run in the next presidential election, in Cairo, Egypt, 17 October 2017 (Reuters)

A presidential election in Egypt took place between 26 and 28 May 2014. There were only two candidates, former Egyptian defence ministerAbdel Fattah el-Sisi and Egyptian Popular Current candidate Hamdeen Sabahi.[3] According to the Egyptian government, Sisi was elected with 97% of the vote.

As chief of the Egyptian Armed Forces, Sisi launched the 2013 Egyptian coup d'état that removed President Mohamed Morsi from office in the aftermath of the June 2013 Egyptian protests. Two months later, troops loyal to Sisi began a bloody crackdown against protestors and dissidents – later dubbed the August 2013 Rabaa massacre – that left 1,400 dead and 16,000 detained.[4] In the wake of violence, Sisi installed an interim government, but remained Egypt's Minister of Defence and assumed the role of the country's First Deputy Prime Minister. On 26 March 2014 he resigned from his military post, announcing that he would run as a candidate in the 2014 presidential election.[5] The election, held between 26 and 28 May and which included only one opponent, was boycotted by most political parties and the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom & Justice Party,[6] which after winning all post-Mubarak democratic contests, was now banned and declared to be a terrorist organization.[6][7]

The elections, which were planned to take place for two days were extended to a third day.[8] Official figures showed 25,578,233 voted in the elections, a turnout of 47.5%, with el-Sisi winning with 23.78 million votes, 96.91%,[1] ten million more votes than former president Mohamed Morsi (who garnered 13 million votes against his opponent in the runoff of the 2012 Egyptian presidential elections).[9][10]


Further information: June 2013 Egyptian protests and 2013 Egyptian coup d'état

After the fall of longtime leader Hosni Mubarak, the Muslim Brotherhood went on to win in elections for the Shura Council and then the 2012 presidential election.[11] Following economic hardship and instability, a large uprising against the Muslim Brotherhood regime of Morsi was followed by the overthrow of Morsi, the suspension of the 2012 constitution, the dissolution of the Shura Council, as well as a roadmap which outlined future elections which would follow the drafting and approval of a new constitution.

As part of the roadmap which ensued followed the overthrow of Morsi, then-minister of defense Abdel Fattah el-Sisi declared that elections would be preceded by a constitutional referendum. Interim president Adly Mansour announced on 26 January 2014 that the presidential election would be held before the parliamentary election.[12] A five-member commission was formed to monitor the election.[13] The deadline for proposals regarding the elections law was 9 February.[14] The presidential elections law was issued by the president on 8 March.[15]

On March 24, an Egyptian court sentenced 529 Muslim Brotherhood members to death following an attack on a police station, and two days later, on March 26 Egypt's public prosecutor declared that another 919 Brotherhood members would be tried for murder and terrorism. On the same day, Sisi announced that he would stand as a candidate in the presidential election.[16]

Between Sisi's overthrow of Morsi and the 2014 presidential elections, an estimated 20,000 activists and dissidents were arrested by the police under the interim government.[17]


Candidates were able to apply for nomination to the presidency between 31 March and 20 April 2014.[18] The final list of candidates approved by the Supreme Election Committee was announced on 2 May.[19] Candidates were allowed to spend a maximum of LE20 million for campaigning.[20] The final results of the election were officially scheduled to be announced on 5 June;[19] however, the official announcement of the results took place earlier, on 3 June.[1]


DateLegal actionDuration
31 March 2014 – 20 April 2014Candidates can be nominated[18]21 days
Approximately 21 April 2014Announcing the initial list and number of supporters per candidate[19]1 day
22 April 2014 – 23 April 2014Receiving objections to candidates[19]2 days
24 April 2014 – 26 April 2014Reviewing objections[19]3 days
27 April 2014Notifying the rejected candidates1 day
28 April 2014 – 29 April 2014Receiving grievances from the rejected candidates2 days
30 April 2014 – 1 May 2014The disposition of grievances cases2 days
2 May 2014Announcing the final list[19]1 day
3 May 2014 – 23 May 2014Presidential campaigns are run[18]20 days
Approximately 2 May 2014Choosing the campaigns' symbols[19]
9 May 2014Last date for withdrawal1 day
15 May 2014 – 18 May 2014First round for Egyptians outside Egypt[18]4 days
24 May 2014 – 25 May 2014Candidates not allowed to campaign during this period2 days
26 May 2014 – 27 May 2014First round for Egyptians within Egypt[18]2 days
28 May 2014Original end of vote counting (Later on extended 3rd day of voting)
29 May 2014Receiving the grievances cases of the committee decisions
30 May 2014 – 31 May 2014The disposition of grievances cases2 days
5 June 2014Announcing the final result of the first round

(or final result if winner receives more than 50% of the vote)[18]

1 day
6 June 2014 – 9 June 2014Voting for Egyptians outside Egypt in the second round[18]4 days
6 June 2014 – 17 June 2014The second round's presidential campaigns12 days
15 June 2014Candidates not allowed to campaign during this period1 day
16 June 2014 – 17 June 2014Voting for Egyptians within Egypt in the second round (if needed)[18]2 days
18 June 2014Counting votes1 day
19 June 2014Receiving the grievances cases of the committee decisions1 day
20 June 2014 – 21 June 2014The disposition of grievances cases2 days
26 June 2014Announcing the final result of the presidential election

(if no candidate wins more than 50% in the first round)[18]

1 day

Source: "Time Schedule for the Dates and Proceduresof the 2014 Presidential Elections"(PDF). Presidential Election Committee. 


Hamdeen Sabahi, a former presidential candidate in the 2012 presidential election, officially announced his presidential bid on 8 February 2014.[21] However, the Sabahi campaign has criticized the presidential elections law promulgated by the interim government, deeming its characteristics troubling for the transparency and fairness of the election.[22] The pro-Sabahi Revolution's Candidate campaign has also expressed reservations about the nature of the presidential elections law, suggesting that the provision establishing inviolability for the decisions of the Supreme Electoral Committee raises doubts about the integrity of the election process and could potentially force a reassessment of the Sabahi candidacy.[23] On 14 March, Hamdeen Sabahi's presidential campaign announced that Sabahi has decided to continue his candidacy in the presidential election, despite the perceived unconstitutionality of the presidential elections law.[24] Sabahi has taken the medical tests needed to run for presidential office.[25] Sabahi acquired 31,555 endorsements.[26]

Abdel Fattah el-Sisi confirmed on 26 March that he will run for president, which also led to his simultaneous permanent retirement from the Armed Forces.[27] Sisi submitted 188,930 endorsements[26] (though 500,000 were collected)[28] and was the first candidate to submit all required documentation.[29]

Sisi and Sabahi were announced as the official candidates by the Presidential Election Commission on 2 May 2014.[30]

Other candidates and nominations[edit]

The New Wafd Party stated on 27 January 2014 that it would not nominate anyone for presidency.[31] The Free Egyptians Party announced on 27 April 2014 that it would not nominate any members to presidential elections.[32]Adly Mansour, stated in November 2013 that he would not run.[33]Amr Moussa, who finished fifth in the 2012 presidential election, has stated that he would not run for the presidency.[34] The Nour Party did not nominate anyone for the presidency.[35]Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh, who finished fourth in the 2012 election, announced on 9 February 2014 that he would not run.[36] On 13 March, Lieutenant General Sami Anan announced he will not run for president.[37]

Khaled Ali, a labor lawyer and former presidential candidate, withdrew his candidacy on 16 March after the passage of the presidential elections law, describing the election as a "farce" while also urging el-Sisi not to run and the army to stay out of politics.[38]Ahmed Shafiq, who finished second in the 2012 presidential election, losing to Mohamed Morsi, announced on 20 March that he would not run for president.[39]

Murad Muwafi, who is the former director of Egyptian General Intelligence, announced on 30 March that he would not run for president.[40] Lawyer Mortada Mansour announced on 6 April that he would run for president,[41] though on 19 April, he announced his withdrawal from the election and directed his support toward Sisi.[42][43] News presenter Bothaina Kamel announced on 12 April that she would run,[44] but she couldn't collect the required endorsements.[45]

A movement called Taharor had launched, in coordination with the Constitution Party and with the 6 April movement, a nationwide campaign to collect 50,000 signatures in favor of Mohammed ElBaradei running for the presidency.[46] Another campaign, called Authorize El Baradei, also started in order to gain endorsements to convince ElBaradei to run for the presidency.[47] However, ElBaradei was ultimately not a presidential candidate.[30]

Endorsements and opposition[edit]

Sisi endorsements[edit]

A movement called Finish Your Favor claimed to have collected 26 million signatures asking el-Sisi to run for president.[48] The Revolutionary Forces Bloc backed el-Sisi for president.[49]Tamarod supported el-Sisi[50] as did the Arab Democratic Nasserist Party[51] and the Misr Balady front.[52] The Moderate Front, which is a group made up of former jihadis, ex-members of the Muslim Brotherhood and ex-al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya members,[53] supported el-Sisi.[54]

The New Wafd Party announced their support for Sisi on 7 April.[55] The Free Egyptians Party announced on 27 April 2014 that it would back el-Sisi.[32] The Nour Party announced their support for Sisi on 3 May.[56] The Tagammu Party and Conference Party announced on 4 May 2014 that they would back el-Sisi for president.[57] Moussa has stated that el-Sisi is the most qualified candidate for the presidency.[58] Ex-President Hosni Mubarak stated in a phone interview that Egyptians should back Sisi,[59] though Mubarak's lawyer has disputed the idea that Mubarak has commented about Sisi's candidacy.[60] In that same interview, Mubarak criticized Sabahi, saying that he is "not fit" to be president.[59]Anwar Sadat and Saad el-Shazly's families also backed el-Sisi.[61][62] The Egyptian Patriotic Movement announced on 13 May that it would support Sisi.[63]

Sabahi endorsements, opposition to Sisi's candidacy and Mona el-Beheiri[edit]

The Strong Egypt Party, headed by Aboul Fotouh, himself a former member of the Muslim Brotherhood, opposed el-Sisi's candidacy.[64] Sabahi has criticized the possibility of having someone with a military background become the next president, arguing that such an outcome would run counter to the goals of the Egyptian revolution.[65][66] He also expressed doubt about Sisi's commitment to democracy, and argued that the Field Marshal bears a measure of direct and indirect responsibility for the human rights violations carried out during the period of the interim government. he denounced what he deemed to be the interim government's hostility toward the goals of the revolution.[67]

The Road of the Revolution Front, the Constitution Party, both wings of the April 6 Movement and the Anti-Coup Alliance opposed Sisi's election bid.[68] The 6 April movement opposed Sisi's candidacy on the grounds that it would further exacerbate polarization and division.[69] Shortly after Sisi's announcement to run for the presidential elections, some social media users in Egypt and the Arab world responded to Al-Sisi's presidential bid announcement with a viral hashtag ("vote for the pimp") that swept Twitter, Facebook, and other social media platforms.[70]

The Revolutionary Socialists issued a statement delineating their position toward the election which criticized state institutions supporting Sisi, described Sisi as the "leader of the counter-revolution," and vowed to "expose el-Sisi's illusions and to destroy the idol which Mubarak's state is erecting as it rebuilds itself."[71] Six political movements, including the Road of the Revolution Front, both wings of the 6 April movement, the Revolutionary Socialists, Hakemhom, and the Students Resistance movement have joined together to create an anti-Sisi campaign called "Against You."[72]

Two co-founders of Tamarod (Hassan Shahin and Mohamed Abel Aziz) were suspended from the organization after announcing their support for Hamdeen Sabahi in his presidential bid.[73] Other leading Tamarod members, numbering around 50, issued a statement expressing support for Sabahi.[74] The Revolution's Candidate campaign began to promote Sabahi following his confirmation that he will run in the election.[75] The Popular Current officially supported Sabahi for president,[76] The Constitution Party has announced its official support for Sabahi after polling its members over potential positions to take toward the election.[77][78] The Socialist Popular Alliance Party announced on 25 April 2014 that it would support Sabahi.[79] The Dignity Party previously stated that it would support Sabahi.[79] The Revolutionary Socialists announced on 27 April that they would support Sabahi.[80][81] The Justice Party declared its support for Sabahi on 28 April.[82] The Brotherhood Without Violence movement has also backed Sabahi.[83] The Freedom Egypt Party announced its support for Sabahi.[84]

The Kefaya Movement stated it would not back a candidate.[85] After holding an internal vote over the question of what position to take toward the presidential election, the Egyptian Social Democratic Party decided not to officially back any candidate.[86] The 6 April Democratic Front has declared that it will let members decide whether to support Sabahi or boycott the election.[87]

There was some notoriety over a supporter of Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, an Egyptian woman named Mona el-Beheiri having expressed her dissent in a street interview over United States PresidentBarack Obama's approach to el-Sisi and Egypt, in a broken English and heavy Egyptian accent: "Listen your Obama. We are Egyptian women. You are listen Obama!? Shut up your mouse Obama! Shut up your mouse Obama!! SISI YES, SISI YES! MORSI NO, MORSI NO!"[88] Following this short interview, Mona al-Beheiri became a well known persona, not only in Egypt but throughout the whole Arab world, and the video became viral, as did remixes if it, and was called the 'Middle East's Joe the Plumber moment'.[89] She was interviewed by many Arab news outlets, and appeared on talk shows. T-shirts with either her image or "Shut up your mouse, Obama" quote were being sold in the stores and markets all over the Arab world.[88] In addition, she was invited to the Arab Media Forum in Dubai, as an example of a social media phenomenon.[90] Some took a very differing opinion and even consider the event and attention an embarrassment.[91]

Conduct and controversies[edit]

The Socialist Popular Alliance Party and the Revolutionary Socialists opposed the use of state media for the promotion of el-Sisi as a candidate.[71][92] The Socialist Popular Alliance also demanded "fair, transparent, credible elections" and argued that allowing the election to turn into a referendum over a single candidate would mean the establishment of a totalitarian state.[93]Ahmed Douma, an activist and member of the Popular Current presently imprisoned for allegedly violating an anti-protest law, called on Hamdeen Sabahi to withdraw his candidacy unless the protest law is annulled and prisoners whose incarceration is justified by this law or otherwise associated with its application are freed.[94] Sabahi and his campaign issued complaints of state bias, assaults and arbitrary arrests against pro-Sabahi campaigners, and destruction of candidate endorsement documents.[95][96][97][98] Sabahi also accused Sisi's campaign of bribing citizens to garner endorsements, as well as having orchestrated prepaid arrangements to acquire endorsements.[99] The Presidential Elections Committee stated that Sabahi broke election rules by announcing his campaign prematurely and that it will investigate the matter.[100] In response to actions undertaken by governmental authorities during the course of the voting process, Sabahi withdrew his campaign representatives from polling stations and described the election as "a seemingly non-democratic process that lacks a minimum amount of freedom of expression."[101] The Sabahi campaign denounced the arrests of many of its members throughout the course of the voting process.[102]

Further boycotts[edit]

Ayman Nour and his Ghad El-Thawra Party announced its boycott on 9 February.[103] The National Alliance to Support Legitimacy announced on 27 April 2014 that it will boycott the vote.[104] The 6 April movement has announced that it will boycott the vote, describing the election as a "farce."[105] The Strong Egypt Party re-affirmed that it would boycott the vote on 14 May.[106]


The Presidential Electoral Committee approved 80 domestic and 6 international civil society organizations to monitor the elections while rejecting 32 domestic and seven international CSOs. Among the international organizations are the European Union, the African Union, the League of Arab States, the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa and Organisation internationale de la Francophonie[107] The European Union monitored the election,[108] as did Democracy International, though Democracy International withdrew after the second day of voting-the vote had been scheduled to last two days, but was extended to three after a low turnout.[8] They commented that the extension raised "questions" regarding "independence of the election commission, the impartiality of the government, and the integrity of Egypt's electoral process".[8] The European Union remained observing until the culmination of the voting.[8] The Carter Center also sent a "small expert mission" focussed on general legal and political issues.[109]

Opinion polls[edit]

A September 2013 Zogby Research Services opinion poll found that 46% of Egyptians polled expressed "confidence" in Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi while 52% were "not confident" in the then-general.[110] The same poll showed 44% exhibiting "confidence" in former president Mohamed Morsi and 55% as being "not confident" about the former president.[110] The Zogby poll reported 39% as "confident" in then-interim president Adly Mansour while 58% were "not confident" in him.[110] A poll conducted by Baseera in February 2014[111] indicated that 51% of those polled would vote for el-Sisi, while 45% are undecided about who to vote for and 1% plan to cast their vote for Sabahi.[112] 2,062 people were polled by the Egyptian Center for Public Opinion Research (Baseera) in all of the governorates of Egypt from 27 February 2014 to 4 March 2014 via mobile and landline calling.[113] Another poll, also conducted by Baseera, indicated that 39% would vote for El-Sisi,[114] while 59% are undecided and 1% indicated that they would vote for Sabahi.[115] The poll was conducted by contacting 2,034 people 18 and older who were contacted through land line and mobile phones throughout all of Egypt's governorates from 24 March until 26 March.[114] Another poll taken from 28 April until 2 May indicated that 72% supported Sisi, while 2% support Sabahi.[116] A poll by the Ibn Khaldun Center for Development Studies found that 84% of those who responded would support Sisi, while 16% would support Sabahi.[117] Another poll by Baseera conducted from 10 May to 11 May that polled 2,000 people found that 75% have said that they will vote for Sisi, while 2% will vote for Sabahi and 15% are undecided.[118] 87% of people who responded said that they will vote.[119]

Opinion polls in Egypt are, however, unreliable, having failed to predict the outcome of the 2012 presidential election.[120]


With the election looming, Sisi publicly called for record voter participation in an effort to boost the election's legitimacy. "Showing signs of panic," according to Reuters, the interim government declared the second day of voting, a Tuesday, to be a public holiday, and extended voting until 10:00PM.[17] However, turnout was lower than expected, with lines outside polling stations short, and in some cases no voters visible at all. By the end of the day, the elections committee decided to extend voting to a third day, the 28 of May.[17] The Justice ministry declared that Egyptians who did not vote would be fined, and waived train fares to try to increase participation. Government-backed media also admonished the public for not voting, and one TV commentator called those not voting "traitors, traitors, traitors."[17]

Turnout was very low in the city of Alexandria, in Morsi's home village northeast of Cairo, and in the industrial city of Helwan.[17]

While some attribute the low turnout to earlier calls by the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt to boycott the elections, others see it as a reflection of the popularity of Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.[121][122]



The Presidential Elections Committee announced on 21 May that the final tally of votes by Egyptians at polling stations abroad in the presidential election had el-Sisi win with 94.5% of the votes (296,628 votes out of 318,033).[123]

Exit polls[edit]

An exit poll from the Egyptian Centre for Public Opinion Research, Baseera, the primary institute to have polled the election campaign, showed el-Sisi in the lead with 95.3%, and Sabahi with 4.7%.[124]

Unofficial results and reactions[edit]

Unofficial results that were reported in the news outlets showed that out of the Egyptian population eligible to vote of 54 million, only around half, 25.6 million voted.[125] Of the 25.6 million, El-Sisi was voted for by 23.9 million, in comparison to Sabahi's 756,000,[124] It was also reported that the number of votes Sabahi received was outnumbered by invalid votes[125] (1.07 million).[8] When the unofficial results were published, hundreds of El-Sisi supporters in Cairo celebrated.[125]

A day after the election, Sabahi conceded defeat but said the official turnout figures were too high and were "an insult to the intelligence of Egyptians." The next day he contested the results of the election, even before the official results were announced by the presidential election commission.[126] The appeal was rejected by PEC the day after.[127]

Official results[edit]

The official publication date for the results was due to be 5 June,[19] in memory of the Six-Day War's beginning, in which Egypt was at war with Israel.[10] However, the results were released early on 3 June by Judge Anwar El-Assi. He announced the following final official results: 25,578,233 voted in the elections, a turnout of 47.5%, with el-Sisi winning with 23.78 million votes, 96.91%.[1] Hamdeen Sabahi got 757,511 of the votes, 3.09%.[2]

CandidatesPartiesVotes %
Abdel Fattah el-SisiIndependent23,780,11496.91%
Hamdeen SabahiEgyptian Popular Current757,5113.09%
Total valid votes24,537,62595.93%
Invalid votes1,040,6084.07%
Registered voters53,848,890100%
Source: [128]



In conjunction with el-Sisi inauguration festivals held in Egypt's Supreme constitutional court, Heliopolis Palace and Quba palace, Tahrir Square was prepared for receiving millions of Egyptians to celebrate Sisi's winning while police and army troops shut down the square outlets by barbed wires and barricades, as well as electronic gates for detecting any explosives that could spoil the festivals.[129]

Grand Imam of al-AzharAhmed el-Tayeb[130] and the Pope Tawadros II[131] sent a congratulation cable to el-Sisi. ُEgypt's top football clubs Al Ahly SC[132] and Zamalek's[133] board of directors also sent el-Sisi cables. The leading Egyptian journalist and author Mohamed Hassanein Heikal congratulated Sisi and expressed through his Twitter account his wishes for el-Sisi.[134] The Egyptian Minister of Defense Sedki Sobhi in the name of the Egyptian Armed Forces congratulated el-Sisi.

Hamdeen Sabahi, who lost the election, called el-Sisi to congratulate him and wished him luck expressing his trust that he would succeed.[135]

PresidentAbdel Fattah el-Sisi, an hour after he was named the country's new leader, gave a television speech expressing his gratitude over the election results saying "My emotions are mixed with happiness and aspiration: my happiness for what you have achieved and my aspiration to be worthy of your trust,". Sisi also said that "now is the time for work", with the future goal being to realise the revolutions' goals of freedom, dignity, humanity and social justice. "I am looking forward to your efforts and determination in building the upcoming stage," he added.[136]


  •  UN — The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon congratulated el-Sisi, saying that he puts his faith in Egypt's president-elect and trusts that he will do everything possible to support the Egyptian people's aspirations for a "stable, democratic and prosperous Egypt."[137]
  •  EU — The European Union extended congratulations to el-Sisi saying the conclusion of elections "marks an important step in the implementation of the constitutional roadmap towards the transition to democracy in Egypt".[138]
  •  Arab League — The Arab Parliament speaker Ahmed Ben Mohamed Jarwan congratulated el-Sisi in a congratulatory cable wishing luck to the new leader to meet the expectations of the Egyptian people.[139]
  •  Russia — Shortly after the initial results appeared, before the final results, president Vladimir Putin called el-Sisi to congratulate him in what he described as "convincing success", he also agreed to hold top official meetings and encourage mutual relations between the two countries in the forthcoming period.[140] The Patriarch of Moscow and all Rus' Kirill also has congratulated el-Sisi on winning the election.[141]
  •  United States — A White House statement from 4 June 2014 said the US "looks forward to working with Abdelfattah al-Sisi, the winner of Egypt's presidential election, to advance our strategic partnership and the many interests shared by the United States and Egypt."[142]
  •  Saudi Arabia — King Abdullah ibn Abdilaziz sent a cable of congratulation Al-Sisi describing the day as a "historic day," and vowed to continue support for Egypt saying "In this day of history and in a new stage of the march of Egypt, a country of true Islam and Arabism, I have the pleasure to congratulate you on the kind confidence bestowed on you by the people who entrusted you to carry their hopes, aspirations and dreams for a better future," King Abdullah also called on countries to attend a donors conference for Egypt warning "any able country failing to contribute to help Egypt would have no future place among us."[143]
  •  UAE — The Emirati president Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan sent el-Sisi a cable of congratulation saying: "Congratulations on the precious trust given to you by the brotherly people of Egypt in facing the challenges they are experiencing, and to achieve their aspirations and ambitions in stability, development, progress, prosperity, pride and dignity."[144]Sharjah ruler Sultan bin Muhammad Al-Qasimi, Deputy ruler Ahmed bin Sultan Al-Qasimi, crown prince of Sharjah Sheikh Sultan Bin Muhammed Al-Qassimi, Sharjah debuty ruler Abdullah bin Salem Al-Qassimi also sent Sisi congratulation cables.[145]
  •  Kuwait — The Kuwaiti government chaired by His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah congratulated el-Sisi and wished him luck in restoring security and stability nationwide, His Highness the Amir Al-Jaber Al-Sabah participated in Al-Sisi's inauguration ceremony in Cairo.[146]
  •  Jordan — King Abdullah called el-Sisi to congratulate him, he also attended his inauguration in Cairo vowing more support to Egypt.[147]
  •  Palestine — The Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas called el-Sisi to congratulate him describing his victory as "a victory for the Arab and Palestinian cause".[140]
  •  Israel — Both the Israeli president Shimon Peres and the prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu called el-Sisi to congratulate him, they described his win as "sweeping victory in a democratic transparent atmosphere", they also expressed their certainty that el-Sisi would take Egypt to the position it deserves based on his background as a fighter soldier and a great leader seeking his country's sublimity.[148]
  •  Qatar — Qatar's emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani sent a cable to el-Sisi congratulating him.[149]
  •  Turkey — The Turkish president Abdullah Gül sent el-Sisi a message congratulating him saying he had no doubts that the deep-rooted relations between Turkey and Egypt would continue, and sent his best wishes for the peace, stability and well-being of the Egyptian people.[150] The Turkish prime minister Erdogan dismissed the congratulatory message saying such messages are "meaningless."[151]
  •  Nigeria — The Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan sent el-Sisi a cable congratulating him urging him to "fully dedicate himself to ending years of political turmoil in the north African country by working diligently for national reconciliation, peace, political stability and socioeconomic development,".[152]
  •  Italy — The Italian foreign minister Federica Mogherini sent el-Sisi a cable congratulating him saying that Italy considers Egypt as a strategic partner to face common threats in the region.[153]
Participants holding flags and pictures of Abdel-Fatah el-Sisi
Soldier helps an elderly woman to reach the polling station in Alexandria – 27 May 2014

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