A group of the Egyptian military leaders has started to call for an alternative to al-Sisi in the coming presidential elections.
A report published by al-Arabi al Jadeed, titled: “Egypt military intelligence backs Sisi step down in 2018″ unveiled that a dissident group of Egyptian military leaders has begun to push for an alternative to Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in the upcoming presidential elections that are set to be held in 2018.
Sources said that a schism within the secret services has led to military intelligence diverging from the general intelligence service and supporting that Sisi should step down after his term ends, according to al-Arabi al Jadeed.
The unprecedented economic crisis failed to recover by Egypt’s military general who was portrayed as the country’s savior when he led a military coup against Egypt’s first democratically elected president Mohamed Morsi in 2013.
However, the economic crisis widened during his reign putting the country in its harshest crisis in its history. Foreign currency shortage due to the withdrawal of tourism and foreign investments which were among the main sources of foreign currency revenues as a result of political unrest and security instability.
It also suffers from double-digit rates of inflation and unemployment
Moreover, Al-Sisi’s government economic reforms to secure a $12 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund has driven Egyptians to lose patience after following recent tax rises, soaring food price inflation and cuts in state subsidies.
A source cited by al-Arabi al Jadeed said,”The top military intelligence chiefs have opened discussions about Sisi not running for re-election… to avoid another popular uprising similar to 2011.”
“Sisi is completely against this scenario and is determined to run again in the upcoming elections. He is aware of the camp in the military opposed to him and has sought help from general intelligence to confront them,” said the source.
The source also claimed that the “countdown” for the end of Sisi’s time in office began months ago and that the military is committed to a peaceful handover of power that will not lead to any unrest.
In the same context, Egyptian political source said last week that Saudi Arabia will support former chief of staff, Sami Anan, as an alternative to Sisi in the 2018 election.
Sisi popularity has declined in recent months as the economy has been hit by shortages of food staples, rising food prices and hikes in utility bills.
Al-Sisi ‘s popularity started to fade away as surveyed by some polls agencies.
According to Al-Arabi al Jadeed, Baseera- one of the few that conducts polls in the country, said in its latest survey this month that 68 %of respondents approve of his performance, which declined from 79 %in April and 85 % in November.
Recently, The Economist has highlighted al-Sisi as the one who is responsible for the ruining of Egypt in its editorial titled: The Ruining of Egypt…Repression and the incompetence of al-Sisi are stoking the second uprising.”
The magazine said at the end of its editorial that the demographic, economic and social pressures in Egypt are relentlessly increasing and that al-Sisi is incapable of providing the sustainable stability to Egypt, the political regime also needs to be reopened.
The magazine considered al-Sisi’s withdrawal from the political life is the hope gate for the Egypt. The Economist continued saying, “Egypt’s political system needs to be reopened. A good place to start would be for al-Sisi to announce that he will not stand again for election in 2018.”
On the other hand, Egypt’s interior minister accused the Muslim Brotherhood group of scheming to incite chaos, saying the country faced “unprecedented challenges” that required a “decisive” response by security forces, in comments published on Monday.
The minister’s comments infer that the Egyptian regime is alarmed over possible unrest as a result of the worsening economic conditions.