In a February 27, 2019 op-ed for Foreign Policy, “Worse Than Mubarak,” POMED’s Deputy Director for Research Amy Hawthorne and Deputy Director for Policy Andrew Miller examine Egyptian president Sisi’s latest power grab and the new form of totalitarianism he is bringing to the country.
Consumed by domestic politics, exhausted by the Middle East, and complacent about the stability of Arab allies, Washington has stopped paying close attention to Egypt. But something alarming is happening in the most populous Arab country and a key U.S. security partner: President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is moving Egypt closer toward totalitarianism than strongman Hosni Mubarak ever did and, in the process, laying the groundwork for more instability in a region that has already seen too much of it.
The amendments that Sisi wants made to his 2014 constitution would significantly bolster his authority in three main ways. First, they would do away with the current requirement that he leave office in 2022, after eight years, and enable him to stay in power until 2034. This change would abrogate Sisi’s pledge to respect the sole remaining win from the 2011 uprising against Mubarak’s three-decade dictatorship: restricting presidents to two four-year terms. Moreover, there is no popular demand to extend Sisi’s presidency—to the contrary, there are growing signs of fatigue with his oppressive rule.
Read the full article here.
Photo: Sisi’s Official Facebook page