Requests from NGOs to monitor its 2018 presidential election places Egypt’s electoral process under the microscope once again. Whilst this democratic duty has traditionally been entrusted to the country’s top judges, new evidence suggests they have been relieved of their responsibilities. Shadow Governance Intel’s insight today looks at how the judiciary’s demotion in Egypt is actually part of a wider sabotage campaign being conducted by the President, with the ultimate aim of marginalising it.
- Since coming to power in 2014, President Abdel Fattah El Sisi has used various informal mechanisms to consolidate his position in Egyptian politics. Marginalising governance structures such as Parliament and the independent media, for example, is part of the President’s modus operandi.
- But another important – yet much more protracted – development has been power plays aimed at stifling the autonomy of Egypt’s judiciary. Sisi ratified laws to strengthen his hand in the Courts and also oversaw the creation of the NEC – a body that regulates supervisory powers over elections.
- Although the Courts have not been neutered by the President, these moves signal that not all is well between Cairo’s top institutions. Power plays looks set to culminate in an absence of judicial supervision in this year’s presidential election, but the battle for influence will continue over the long term.