domingo, 6 de julho de 2014
"Sisi channels Salazar…whoever he was"
Former Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi prepares to assume Egypt’s presidency already having appeared to his fellow citizens in a number of historical guises. A year ago, he posed as the reincarnation of Muhammad Naguib, the general who led his fellow officers to overthrow the Egyptian monarchy in 1952 but then urged them to return to the barracks and restore democracy. For his enthusiastic followers, Sisi has since morphed into Gamal Abdel Nasser, the colonel who shoved Naguib aside, built an ambitious socialist system and thumbed his nose at the superpowers. For his critics, he is about to recreate Hosni Mubarak’s presidency – cumbersome, authoritarian and directionless. Based on his behavior and his public statements, however, Sisi seems to be channeling a different sort of authoritarian leader – one exemplified by António de Oliveira Salazar, the political economy professor who came to rule Portugal for nearly four decades beginning in the early 1930s. The only question is whether Sisi can last as long.