Egypt is likely to dominate political headlines in the region during the early part of 2018, with its Presidential election expected to occur in late spring / early summer. Tensions will inevitably heighten as campaigning gets underway, but the stage has already been set in favour of the incumbents.

When quizzed about his candidacy for the upcoming election, president Abdel Fattah El Sisi stated in November 2017 that he would not run if it went “against the will of the people”, thus leaving sufficient ambiguity around his political plans going forward. In fact, questions about a second term were bizarrely twisted by Sisi in an interview, who instead chose to state that he definitely would not seek a third term or “interfere with the constitution” in any way (Al Jazeera, 07 November 2017).

This is most likely a reference to the legal manipulation carried out by figures such as Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who have led the way in terms of amending official laws and governing documents with a view to postponing their own political careers. Despite Sisi’s promises, however, there are few guarantees that he will not be present or influential in post-2022 Egypt.