Egypt. According to Countryaah.com, Cairo is the capital city of Egypt, a country located in Northern Africa. President Abd al-Fattah al-Sisi waited a long time to announce if he intended to stand in the presidential election, whose first round would be held at the end of March. In mid-January, the former army chief, who took power in a coup in 2013 and was elected president the following year, announced his intention to run for office. By that time, several opposition politicians had already declared that they did not intend to stand. Among them was former Prime Minister Ahmad Shafiq, who was deported to Egypt from the United Arab Emirates in December 2017, where he has been residing since the loss in the 2012 presidential election. In early January, Shafiq announced that he would not be running for candidacy in the contrary. coming presidential election because he came to realize that he was not the one who had the best conditions to lead the country.
Shafiq was judged to be the only one who could pose any real threat to al-Sisi’s election victory. However, the regime did not take any risks, but looked in different ways to laugh at the president’s behavior. At the end of January, Sami Anan, who until 2012 was one of the country’s top officers, was arrested a few days after he announced his intention to stand against al-Sisi. A number of opposition parties and public figures called for electoral boycotts and 14 human rights organizations said in a joint statement, published by Human Rights Watch, that the conditions for a free and fair presidential election were completely lacking.
In the end, only one counter-candidate to al-Sisi was released: Mussa Mustafa Mussa, leader of the Liberal Party Ghad. As expected, he did not have the shadow of a chance against the incumbent president, who got 97% of the vote in an election that attracted 41% of the electorate. After swearing in for a new term in office in June, al-Sisi presented a largely new government, led by newly appointed Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli.
In April, former Auditor General Hisham Geneina was sentenced to five years in prison by a military court. He was charged with spreading news that damaged the military. Geneina was arrested in February after threatening to publish secret documents should something happen to Sami Anan. According to Geneina, the documents showed that senior officers committed illegal acts. Hisham Geneina was envisioned as Anan’s vice presidential candidate before closing his candidacy.
In July, Parliament passed a law that allows the president to grant high-ranking military life-long amnesty for crimes committed during the period July 2013-June 2014, that is, from the events when then-President Muhammad Mursi was overthrown by the military until al-Sisi was sworn in in as new head of state.
In August, the regime further expanded its influence over the country. On the one hand, al-Sisi signed a law that strengthens state control over the Internet and gives the right to block sites that are considered to threaten the security of the country. Both those who run such sites and those who visit it run the risk of punishment. On the one hand, the president appointed new people to 22 of 27 governor posts. Most of the new regional authorities had a background in the military or police. In the province of Damietta, Manal Mikhail was appointed new governor and thus became the first woman to hold such office. Al-Sisi had already, in February, fired the head of the country’s intelligence service, General Khaled Fawzy, and in his place appointed his chief of staff, General Abbas Kamel, who is close to the president.
In August, a state human rights commission was also set up to deal with allegations of alleged violations. The responsibility for the Commission ended up with the country’s foreign ministry.
The trials against members of the Muslim Brotherhood and other opposition groups continued throughout the year. In July, 75 people were sentenced to death for participating in the protests that erupted after President Mursi was ousted in 2013. In September, the death sentences were set by another court, which also set the life sentence for 47 other convicts. The same month, the Muslim Brotherhood leader, Mohammed Badie, and 65 other people were also sentenced to life imprisonment for attacking a police station in 2013. A total of 700 people, who were previously convicted of involvement in the events, were re-examined. In the first trial, 183 people were sentenced to death, sentences that were now converted to prison sentences. 288 previously fallen persons were released.
The fight against Islamist groups, also an event that has been going on in recent years, was stepped up in February through a major effort on the Sinai Peninsula, in the central Nile Delta and in the Libyan desert. Both the Army and the Air Force and the Navy participated. According to the military, 38 Islamists were killed during the month, ten of whom were described as “extremely dangerous”. In April, Human Rights Watch warned that the campaign threatened to trigger a humanitarian crisis on the Sinai Peninsula. The reason for this was that transport of people and goods was subject to severe restrictions. By that time, the number of dead had risen to about 200 Islamists and over 30 government soldiers. In August, the death toll among the rebel groups had increased by another hundred people.
In October, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) granted another $ 2 billion in loans to Egypt. One of the rewards for the now US $ 10 billion that the country has been borrowing since 2016 was that the state abolished the subsidies on fuel and electricity. According to the IMF, Egypt’s sovereign debt had declined and economic growth had increased.