Politics of COVID-19 in Egypt: Between Repression and Opportunism

Source: Arab Center Washington DC

Author(s): Khalil al-Anani

Original Link: http://arabcenterdc.org/policy_analyses/politics-of-covid-19-in-egypt-between-repression-and-opportunism/

Like other authoritarian regimes around the globe, the government in Egypt is exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic. Under the guise of fighting the coronavirus, it is cracking down on critics and imposing more restrictions on personal freedoms. Egypt’s repressive regime, led by General Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi, has taken several political measures over the last two months ostensibly to control the outbreak of the disease. These actions will have a long-term impact on Egypt’s political life that goes beyond the coronavirus crisis. Externally, Sisi is employing the pandemic as a way to score political points and improve his regime’s image on the international stage. Since the global outbreak of COVID-19, Egypt has dispatched medical shipments to a number of countries including the United States, the United Kingdom, China, and Italy. The irony of sending these supplies out of the country while Egypt itself is grappling with fighting the coronavirus is striking. In fact, Egypt’s politicization and exploitation of the coronavirus pandemic cannot be overlooked and should be examined closely.

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