Casablanca - Though the IMF and the United States have supported Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, the future of the Egyptian president’s rule is not a promising one.
Casablanca – Though the IMF and the United States have supported Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, the future of the Egyptian president’s rule is not a promising one.
This week, the Washington Post posted an article entitled “A bad bet on Egypt’s strongman,” entailing the different reasons why many who have supported Al-Sisi’s presidency may be wrong. And they might be onto something.
In the past three years, Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi has gotten support from the United States, namely from Secretary of State John F. Kerry, who hoped that his presidency would finally lead to some level of economic stability in the North African country.
Egypt has known extreme political and economic instability since the 2011 revolution. When Al-Sisi came into power in 2013 after a coup d’état that overthrew the Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, he made questionable leadership decisions.
From the $8 billion expansion of the Suez Canal, which was marketed as a ‘gift to the world,’ which was unnecessary for a country so poverty-stricken, to the violent stamping out of any kind of domestic dissent, Al-Sisi wasted large sums of money invested by Saudi Arabia, with very little benefit to the economy or domestic bliss.
After finally getting cut off by Saudi Arabia, Al- Sisi was forced to play ball with the International Monetary Fund, which promised the country a $12 billion loan if Egypt agreed to become just a tad more liberal, AKA allowing the central bank to let the pound free float earlier this month. Following the news, Bloomberg reported that the country’s stocks had risen more than it ever have since 2008.
— Bloomberg (@business) November 3, 2016
Though Al-Sissi’s economic decision made waves this month, allowing for the IMF’s vote of faith, his downfall could be his domestic strategy.
Eliminating independent civil society groups and maintaining his government’s repression of dissent could threaten to end his rule sooner than many expect.
Though Al-Sissi’s recent efforts have been praised by his supporters, poverty, unemployment and corruption coupled with a repressive government may be a recipe for disaster. And, as we have seen in 2011, the Egyptian people do not shy away from speaking out.