Inside Story

Is Egypt’s Sisi scared of electoral competition?

Sami Anan is the latest contender forced out of the race for the presidential election in March.

It does not look like many – or should that be “any”? – challengers are going to make it to polling day for the presidential election in Egypt.

The vote in March will be the second since Abdel Fattah el-Sisi deposed Mohamed Morsi as president five years ago.

Critics say the election is turning into a farce. A military leader seen as a leading contender to replace Sisi is out of the race: Sami Anan was arrested by soldiers on Tuesday.

Army commanders say the former army chief of staff broke the law by not getting permission to declare his candidacy.

Another candidate out is Ahmed Shafik: the former prime minister and air force chief announced his challenge in November but withdrew earlier this month.

He said he had reconsidered and did not think he was the best person to run the country.

The nephew of Anwar Sadat, the late president, is also out, blaming what he called an environment of fear surrounding the election.

So, what choice will voters have?

Presenter: Laura Kyle


Timothy Kaldas – The Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy

Ahmed Badawi – Centre for Middle Eastern and North African Politics and Free University of Berlin

Tawfik Hamid – political analyst and author specialising in Egypt government’s domestic policy