The three-day presidential election in Egypt ended with President Abdel Fattuh el-Sisi expected to win, raising questions about the legitimacy of the vote. Following an election campaign where five of Sisi’s opponents were prevented from being on the ballot, few voters showed up. The lack of participation and protest portray the authoritarian control in Egypt.
After retired general, Sami Anan, announced his presidential candidacy to challenge President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Saturday, the Egyptian military detained him for questioning, removing the only substantial threat for Abdel’s reelection. In a rare statement, the military claimed they were taking ‘necessary legal action’ against Anan, accusing him of ‘violations and crimes’ and ‘incitement against the armed forces.’
Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, met Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sissi, Monday, giving US endorsement for free and transparent elections ‘not just for Egypt but for any country.’ Sissi is running for reelection next month, in a battle critics believe is corrupt. Tillerson expressed that the US will remain ‘steadfast’ in its support for Egypt.
On Monday, president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt enacted a law that imposes strict new regulations on aid groups, stoking fears that his government intends to accelerate its harsh crackdown on human rights activists before a presidential election scheduled for next year. The law was approved in November but Sisi was hesitant to sign it as the USA said that if the law were signed they would restrict American aid to the region, but recently Mr. Sisi has appeared emboldened by a burgeoning friendship with President Trump, who has hailed the Egyptian strongman as a “fantastic guy” and indicated that he did not intend to allow human rights issues to sour their relationship.
Gunmen in Egypt shot down and killed 28 Coptic Christian pilgrims on Friday when they were on their way to a monastery, 120 miles south of Cairo. The gunmen told everyone to surrender their phones and told the men to recite the shahada, the Islamic declaration of faith. When the men refused, they opened fire, many dying to a single shot in the head. President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi delivered a speech from the presidential palace warning that the attack on Christians “will not go unanswered,” nobody has owned up to the attack but it is suspected to be the work of the Islamic State.