Egypt will be electing a new president before the parliamentary vote. Adly Mansour, the interim president made this announcement in a televised speech after talking to political stakeholders and representatives of various political groups about this decision; a large majority of them voted to choose to have the elections held first. The parliamentary elections were supposed to be first following a timetable after the army threw out President Mohammed Morsi in July following protests.
The response to this action had mixed results; some held anti-governmental rallies, which ended with 49 people killed and many arrested. Others who supported the action held rallies in certain places such as Tahrir Square, where many gathered during the 18-day revolt in 2011. Despite the protests and rallies, Egyptians are positive about their future leader. Sebastian Usher, reporter for British Broadcasting Corporation’s Arab Affairs, was told by Egyptians that they believe General Abdul-Fattah El-Sisi is the strong man their country needs. Egyptians may get the man they want because the newly-promoted Field Marshal El- Sisi is going to be running for president.
El-Sisi, who recently was given the title of Field Marshal, is known for removing Mohammed Morsi from power and was the minister of defense while Morsi was in power. He is also not the only person running for this position. Hamdeen Sabhi and Abdel-Moneim Aboul Fotouh, who were two candidates that ran during the presidential election in 2012, might run again in the upcoming race. However, it is expected that he will win because the government he started last year removed his largest threat, the Muslin Brotherhood. Long before Egypt decided they will elect a new president before the parliamentary vote and El-Sisi was the defense minister, there were two other defense ministers who preceded him.
In 1991, Field Marshall Hussein Tantawi was the minister of defense for Egypt; Tantawi was the minister for over twenty years and was known for being loyal to Hosni Mubarak, Egypt’s former president. He was also seen as the face of the country’s armed forces. After Mubarak was removed, Tantawi took the position of Supreme Council of the Armed Forces; with this position, Tantawi took control of the country. When the new president was elected in Egypt in 2011, Tantawi took back the position of defense minister as well as the head of the military council and the commander-in-chief of the armed forces.
Then on Aug. 12, 2012, Tantawi was removed from his position because Morsi cancelled the constitutional document; after this removal, the then General Abdul-Fattah El-Sisi was chosen as the new minister of defense. El-Sisi’s background includes graduating from a military academy in Egypt in 1977 and then serving as an army officer in the infantry corps. He was born on November 19th, 1954 and held other positions in the army. These positions included being the commander of Egypt’s Mechanized Infantry Battalion and the head of security and information at the General Secretariat of the Defense Ministry.
Aside from his past positions, El-Sisi is running for president of Egypt after the country’s early decision. Egypt has decided to elect a new president before the parliamentary vote despite the previously decided timetable. Egypt does not know when the election will be held but does know that candidates can officiate their position on Feb. 18.
By Jordan Bonte