TEL AVIV — Egyptian activists have taken to social media to spread the hashtag “#you_cant_run_for_president_because,” mocking the upcoming elections they claim are being controlled by the military and other supporters of incumbent President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi.
One possible opponent, Ahmad Shafiq, the former prime minister under overthrown president Hosni Mubarak, was forced to give up his candidacy because of his expected extradition to Egyptian authorities from the United Arab Emirates. Then there is the case of Ahmad Konsowa, an Egyptian army officer who was sentenced to six years in prison for declaring his intention to run for the presidency while still in uniform.
Egyptian authorities also prevented former army chief Sami Anan from becoming a candidate in the elections. The military ruled that Anan had forged his release forms from the Egyptian army, disqualifying him from the presidential race.
The arrests of potential candidates have led social media users in Egypt and across the Arab world to address the developments that are expected to hang like a cloud over the presidential elections that are scheduled to be held in just a few months.
“They say there’s no other candidate,” Egyptian activist Awraq Yasmine posted to Twitter. “That’s it. Sissi has signed for ownership of Egypt. He also added all the other state institutions in the contract.”
#مينفعش_تترشح_عشان..!! قالك مفيش آخر
السيسي خلاص سجل ملكيته لمصر
في الشهر العقاري والمجلس العسكري
وكل مؤسسات الدوله شهود في العقد..ὢ
الموضوع حفاظ ع رقاب قبل مايكون حفاظ ع كرسي..😒#يناير_حلم_ومكملينه #عيش_حرية_كرامة pic.twitter.com/wuteJhNNLn
— RaheeqYasmine~چاسمين (@Raheeq_Jasmine) January 23, 2018
“I would like to remind everyone, General Sissi said on August 19, 2013: ‘I swear there is no military regime in Egypt and the army has no desire to rule in Egypt,'” tweeted former student union vice president Ahmas al-Baqri.
— أحمد البقري (@AhmedElbaqry) January 23, 2018
The Al Jazeera network, which is opposed to the Egyptian administration, tweeted, “The laughter continues to accompany the presidential elections in Egypt. There is no candidate against Sissi.” Of course, hundreds of social media users were quick to respond and criticize the incumbent.
— AJ+ عربي (@ajplusarabi) January 24, 2018
“Egypt has a president,” posted the account called In Love with Al-Aqsa. “History has shown the entire world that the legitimate president is Mohammed Morsi and he’s the only one who was prepared to confront the hegemony of the Zionist army. Well done to those who implanted us with national pride.”
#مينفعش_تترشح_عشان لان مصر لها رئيس💚
وسيشهد التاريخ القديم والحديث امام العالم💚
ان الرئيس الشرعي د #محمد_مرسي الوحيد💚
الذي تحدي جبروت وغطرسة صهاينة العسكر💚
تحية اعزاز وتقدير لمن غرس فينا العزة والكرامة💚#عيش_حرية_كرامة#جروب_رابعسطين#قروب_فلسطيني#ثائرون_فلسطينيون pic.twitter.com/81yU3B4arS
— ارطغرل العرب (@RaaBaa4) January 24, 2018
Egyptian activist Amru Bek al-Awal wrote a sarcastic tweet alongside a photo of president Sissi drinking alcohol with a sad expression, apparently over the fact that he forced his former army colleague Anan to resign.
“Why Sami? Why are you the one challenging me? You could have been here at my side. Curse this seat (that distracted you).”
— عمرو بِك الاول (@AM_R0_1) January 24, 2018