Egyptian president warns against election boycott

Sunday 04/02/2018

Cairo - Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi issued a strong warning against attempts to disrupt the country’s stability in comments many viewed as a warning against calls for a boycott of presidential elections.

Egypt’s presidential vote March 26-28 has been criticised by Sisi’s opponents after potential candidates withdrew or declined to run, leaving El-Ghad Party leader Moussa Mostafa Moussa as Sisi’s sole rival.

Speaking January 31 at a ceremony inaugurating Egypt’s offshore Zohr gas field, Sisi said: “There will be other measures against anyone who believes he can mess with [Egypt’s] security… I fear no one but God.”

“Whoever wants to mess with Egypt’s security and wreck it must get rid of me first because by God Almighty I will not allow it,” he added.

The Civil Democratic Movement, a coalition of eight Egyptian opposition parties and more than 100 figures, called for a boycott of the elections, which Sisi is seemingly certain to win. An official statement calling for a boycott described the election as “absurdity bordering on madness.”

The Civil Democratic Movement includes liberal and left-wing parties such as Al-Dostour Party, the Egyptian Social Democratic Party, the Socialist Popular Alliance Party and the Nasserist Karama group.

Several presidential hopefuls who have since withdrawn, including human rights lawyer Khalid Ali and former MP Mohamed Anwar Sadat, also backed the boycott.

Sisi said he was not afraid to speak directly with the Egyptian people and seek “another mandate.” This was viewed as a reference to the “popular mandate” that Sisi had called for on the ouster of Islamist President Muhammad Morsi, with millions of Egyptians taking to the streets in support of the move.