Between late January and early April international institutions and think tanks issued a variety of reports and papers regarding the Egyptian elections of 2018. Analysis and commentary started prior to the elections with researchers listing concerns, expectations, and hopes for the event. This extended to the actual elections up until and after the announcement of the results.
The interest in the Egyptian election was expected considering Egypt’s regional and international role. Furthermore, interest was heightened due the ongoing social and political climate in Egypt and the ensuing implications for the international community in light of economic, social, and security concerns. As such, a wide range of institutions highlighted the elections.
A total of 17 papers/ reports were published between the end of January and the beginning of April. Papers were issued by: Carnegie, Washington Institute, Chatham House, Council on Foreign Relations, Open Canada, Human Rights Watch, Arab Center Washington DC, Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy, the Egyptian Institute for Studies, and Atlantic Council.
The elections coverage explored issues ranging from the status of other candidates, the human rights situation, military power, voter turnout, economic incentives, and the foreign relations implications of the elections. The consensus amongst researchers reporting on the elections was that there is a wide skepticism of the election process with many expressing concerns over whether the elections can be deemed as “free and fair” (1). The election was deemed as being a “sham” and “putinesque” with researchers calling for international condemnation (2).
Researchers also highlighted violations of the current regime and indicated the need for a strong demand for the alleviation of controls enforced (3). Voter turnout was central to Sisi who craves democratic legitimacy (4). Researchers noted the way that the regime “manufactured consent” by providing incentives to promote a higher voter turnout (5). Researchers also investigated factors influencing voter turnout based on a range of variables (6).
Following the announcement of the expected elections results, researchers noted the “stakes of a second Sisi term” (7), and the focus shifted to the implications of Sisi’s second term both on a domestic and international scale (8). Such implications include an economy currently struggling in the wake of the tumultuous post-uprising years, severely declining political and civic freedoms and security threats in Northern Sinai (9)
While the coverage of the elections varied in terms of perspectives explored, it is certain that there is a strong preoccupation with how a second term for Sisi will impact Egypt. Additionally, there is also a strong demand for the improvement of Egypt’s rights records by the international community.
- See: https://www.me-policy.org/2018/02/13/egypt-planned-presidential-vote-neither-free-nor-fair/
- See: https://www.me-policy.org/2018/02/05/president-trump-condemn-this-sham-egyptian-election/ ;https://www.me-policy.org/2018/01/23/egypts-putinesque-election/; https://www.me-policy.org/2018/03/27/europe-and-the-egyptian-election-do-not-congratulate/ And https://www.me-policy.org/2018/03/26/the-working-group-on-egypts-letter-to-general-mcmaster-and-acting-secretary-of-state-sullivan/
- See: https://www.me-policy.org/2018/02/26/elections-in-egypt-another-setback-for-democracy/; https://www.me-policy.org/2018/03/20/egypts-presidential-elections-and-the-challenges-ahead/; and https://www.me-policy.org/2018/04/03/2018-elections-continuing-violations- and-phony-results/
- See: https://www.me-policy.org/2018/04/27/in-egypt-voter-turnout-falls-short/
- See: https://www.me-policy.org/2018/03/29/manufacturing-consent/;
- See: https://www.me-policy.org/2018/03/26/egypt-election-a-reading-in- likely-participation/
- See: https://www.me-policy.org/2018/03/27/raising-the-stakes-implications-of-a-second-sisi-term/
- See: https://www.me-policy.org/2018/04/05/what-sisis-victory-means-for-egypts-future/ ;and https://www.me-policy.org/2018/04/06/with-freedom-and-justice-for-sisi/
- See: https://www.me-policy.org/2018/04/27/th-presidents-scorecard/