Both sides of Egypt's political spectrum call upcoming elections a farce
Egypt's former leftist presidential candidate Khaled Ali told the media this week that he will not run in the upcoming presidential elections, citing them as a "farce" and "stacked in favor of military chief Abdel Fattah Al Sisi," according to the Associated Press.
"Stop the puppet theater that you have opened. We are not against the candidacy of any former military leader, the military which we respect. ... But stay away from the army for a year, and let the media and the people treat you as a human, one that acts like humans who can make mistakes and can do right and be criticized," Ali told reporters.
In his commentary, Ali elaborated on the fact that state institutions—and the media itself—is "geared town Al Sisi's expected candidacy," eliminating the prospect for others to legitimately run against the army chief. Ali also argued against the current government's suppression of opposition voices.
"Our demands are not against the military, they are against your personal greed for power and not against the military," Ali said.
Ali was a major labor rights activist during the Mubarak era and increased in popularity during the start of the Egyptian revolution in 2011, garnering most of his support from leftist youth groups.
And he is not the only one complaining. Earlier this week, the former head of the air force and the last prime minister under Mubarak Ahmed Shafiq criticized the government for their blind support of Al Sisi's presidential bid.
In recordings that were leaked on the Internet, Shafiq said, "Is it an honest battle? I know they will fix all the ballot boxes for Al Sisi. It will be a farce."
Shafiq confirmed and stood by his comments last Thursday in a public statement, re-emphasizing that the army should not have a role in Egyptian politics.
"It is unimaginable and unacceptable because it contradicts with all rules and traditions that call for the armed forces to stay completely away from the election process," he said.
With criticism coming from both sides of the political spectrum, and with many candidates dropping out due to allegations over corruption within the process, it is still yet to be determined if the presidential elections will be considered legitimate in the eyes of the Egyptian people.