Deputy Director for Research Amy Hawthorne Interviewed on VOA

On February 1, 2018, POMED’s Deputy Director for Research Amy Hawthorne spoke with Mohamed Elshinnawi about the “giant farce” of Egypt’s upcoming presidential election.

Amy Hawthorne is the deputy director of research with the Project on Middle East Democracy in Washington. She says that although Sissi said he wanted a true election, he didn’t really want competition.

“The fact that several of these would-be candidates came from the military was even more apparently threatening to him, and so using a variety of measures, and tricks and means, the Egyptian authorities have managed to either disqualify on very shaky grounds these would-be candidates, or has intimidated, threatened and pressured them, their families, their supporters, leading them to pull out,” Hawthorne said.

She says the effort to suppress the opposition is a waste, because many people think it likely that Sissi would win a fair election.


Hawthorne said part of the problem is that many Western countries are exhausted by years of tumult in the Middle East.

She also said that since dictatorships can create temporary stability, many Western governments tolerate them as they focus on short-term solutions. Ultimately, she said, repressive governments fall.

“We can be sure that another wave of change and popular unrest will be coming,” Hawthorne said.

And, she said, it is likely the international community will be unprepared.

You can listen to the clip here (starting at 17:50) or read the story here.