As President Abdel-Fattah El Sisi’s first four-year term in office comes to an end on June 3, 2018, Egypt’s regime, its citizenry, and the international community are preparing for what was slated to be Egypt’s fourth multi-candidate presidential election in its modern history. But, having presided over four years of consolidation of power, repression of political opposition, and near full control over the media, Sisi has effectively guaranteed his victory. Yet the implications of this election nonetheless extend beyond the outcome of the polls: the political and legal dynamics of the various phases, the role of the media, and domestic and international response all provide insight into the current political landscape, and set the stage for the next four years, which appear to mark a shift in this regime’s approach to governance and tools of control. While this cannot be considered a genuine, contested election in either the procedural or democratic sense, it nonetheless frames a unique moment in time to consider the country’s trajectory under Sisi’s leadership.
As with all of TIMEP’s work, it is our hope that this initiative to document developments and elucidate dynamics will provide greater insight into Egypt’s political scene, an understanding that is essential to forming effective policy throughout the next presidential term.