By Middle East Affairs
Polls opened Friday in the presidential elections for Egyptians living abroad, even though President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is running virtually unopposed.
The president’s only challenger is Mousa Mostafa Mousa. Mousa, however, had backed the president’s bid for re-election and is likely only running to save al-Sisi the embarrassment of being the only candidate in the race.
Other candidates dropped out of the campaign, claiming they had been threatened by authorities. One was even jailed.
Official polls within Egypt will open from March 26-28, according to Reuters.
“I’ve come to vote for the continuation of safety and security in Egypt,” Mohamed Zaghloul, 47, told Reuters at the Egyptian embassy in Khartoum, Sudan.
Reuters reports that other Egyptians abroad said they refused to vote.
“Bottom line is that the election process is a sham. The fig leaf of democracy is so see-through that even Moussa Mostafa, the only contender who ran to meet the cut-off, is hardly taking the race seriously. With such a predetermined outcome, what’s the point?” a 40-year-old Washington, DC-based Egyptian told Reuters.
He asked the news agency not to reveal his name for fear of the Egyptian authorities.