The first round of Egypt’s presidential elections is scheduled for May 26 and 27 and only two candidates are running for the office—leftist politician Hamdeen Sabahi and former General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the man widely expected to win in a landslide. Since engineering the coup in July 2013 that overthrew Egypt’s first freely elected president, Muslim Brotherhood member Mohamed Morsi, Sisi has been the de facto head of the Egyptian government. It was hardly suprising when he resigned his commission in order to make an official run for the top spot. Given that it’s a foregone conclusion that Sisi will be the country’s next president, what will Egypt look like under his rule?
The serial failures of post-Mubarak regimes—from the interim military government immediately following Mubarak’s fall to Morsi and then Sisi’s coup government—suggest that Egypt’s fundamental problems may be insoluble. Donors from the oil-rich Gulf states like Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates can delay the inevitable, but unless the country can address basic issues like slashing subsidies, encouraging investment, and privatizing industry, the Egyptian economy is headed for trouble. Further, with Sisi prosecuting wars against the Muslim Brotherhood and assorted Islamist groups in the Sinai, Egypt’s social situation is also precarious. Will Sisi’s Egypt spin out of control, or can he master the feat of governing the most populous and in many ways still most influential Arab state?
On May 16th, Hudson Institute Senior Fellow Lee Smith will moderate a panel with Hudson Institute colleague Samuel Tadros and Mokhtar Awad to discuss the future of Sisi’s Egypt.
Samuel Tadros is a Senior Fellow at Hudson Institute's Center for Religious Freedom. At Hudson, he is researching the rise of Islamist movements in the Middle East and the implications for religious freedom and regional politics. Tadros is the author of Motherland Lost: The Egyptian and Coptic Quest for Modernity and the forthcoming essay, “Reflections on the Revolution in Egypt.”
Mokhtar Awad is a Research Associate with the National Security and International Policy team at the Center for American Progress. His work focuses on Islamist groups, Middle Eastern politics, and U.S. foreign policy toward the region. He previously completed an internship with the Office of Egypt and Levant Affairs in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs at the U.S. Department of State in the fall of 2011.
Hudson Senior Fellow Lee Smith is a Senior Editor at The Weekly Standard and Columnist for Tablet Magazine.
This event will be live streamed on Hudson's homepage.
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