Egypt’s Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has sworn that he would step down from office if he loses next year’s “presidential election” under his repressive military rule.
During a question and answer session at a youth conference, al-Sisi said that he would respect the outcome of the 2018 presidential race!
Asked if he would respect the outcome of the election, Al-Sisi said, “I swear to God Almighty if Egyptians don’t want me stay another second in this position, I won’t.”
He added, “I’ll tell you guys why; I always say that as the Lord has given people the freedom to believe or not believe… God has also given people the freedom to choose who they want or don’t want.”
Al-Sisi also said, “I could never allow myself or accept for myself, or for you all, that I stay in this position against your will.”
He added that Egyptians had the right to take part in fair elections to ensure that their voices are heard!!
In 2013, when Sisi was defense minister, he led a bloody military coup that overthrew Egypt’s first freely elected president, Mohamed Morsi.
A year later, Sisi came to power after winning presidential elections with 96 % of the vote after standing largely uncontested.
Since then, the Egyptian authorities launched massive crackdown against political opposition, lawyers, activists, journalists and human right groups.
Last month, an Egyptian lawmaker attempted to collect signatures for a petition to extend the terms of president and lift restrictions on re-election.
Ismail Nasr al-Deen wanted to amend an article of the constitution to enable al-Sisi to stay in power longer than the two four-year terms currently permitted.
In fact, the popularity of al-Sisi, who was once viewed as the savior of the country by part of the Egyptians, started to fade away in 2016.
Under his rule, Egypt’s economy has been hit by shortages of food staples, rising food prices, hikes in utility bills and terrorist attacks that have worsen the already ailing tourism industry.
In response to al-Sisi’s comments, social media activists took to Twitter using the Arabic-language hashtag #WeDontWantSisi to tell the military strongman to step down.
The opposition April 6 Youth Movement said, “The worst figure head the regime has ever chosen to represent itself in 65 years. Al-Sisi has sold the country, killed and arrested.”
In 2016, the Economist 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 also 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.”