Everything in Egypt has become absurd, making absurdity the main characteristic of the post-2013 coup phase. Things are in disarray, including the minds of people, and we are hearing things that are beyond logic and reason being said and believed by the Egyptian people, who have been brainwashed and reassembled in a state of hypnosis. This is the state of the Egyptian people, except for a few who have been spared and were able to preserve their minds. The preservation of their minds has turned into an accusation, one they are held accountable for.
The most recent absurdity in the Egyptian circus is the emergence of Ahmed Shafiq, the candidate who lost to Dr Mohamed Morsi in the first free and fair presidential elections in Egypt’s history, which crowned Morsi as the first civilian president elected in Egypt in 7,000 years.
Shafiq took his bags, filled with his valuables, and fled under the cover of night to the state of Israeli conspiracies, on the instruction of the Military Council, which was handling the country’s affairs at the time, in order to avoid retaliation from the Muslim Brotherhood once they governed the country, as the Council put it. However, they really wanted to get rid of him because they were preparing another individual from within the council for presidency. They could not accept a civilian as their president and they wouldn’t allow the demolition of their state, which they have been building since 1952. The did not allow the civilian president to rule more than a year, during which they put up every obstacle possible in his way in order to keep him from governing, and they governed from behind the scenes and plotted against him.
They were helped by the candidate who fled, or the Military Council’s sacrifice to the UAE, who proudly stated in a televised interview about three years ago that he was working on a plan with the American delegate to stage a coup against the legitimate President Morsi in the very room he was recording the interview in. He criticised the government in Egypt for not appreciating the efforts that he made in order to overthrow the Muslim Brotherhood.
He was waiting for his reward or payment for his services, but the government, which was headed by a lackey who did not govern, but executed orders, believed that the person who overthrew the Brotherhood was this man, who managed the situation behind the scenes. He was in contact daily with the US Secretary of Defence during the six months preceding the coup, stressing that there was no use from the Brotherhood and that they needed to be eliminated. He himself admitted to this after the coup in an interview with an American newspaper. He also admitted to the Egyptian intelligence’s role in the coup, as it formed the Tamarod Movement, funded by the UAE.
Shafiq felt angered and betrayed by those who claimed they were protecting him and removed him from the country in a dignified manner, through the VIP lounge. However, he has been gone for too long on the trip, which, immediately after travelling, he claimed to be a trip to perform Umrah. However, it seems that he has forgotten that the Kaabah is in Makkah, not Dubai.
Shafiq was hoping to run for president after the coup, but when he saw that the stage was set for someone else and that the play was over, the curtain had fallen, and all that was left was for the audience to applaud the performance, he changed his intention. He was forced to support Al-Sisi’s nomination after a recording of him was leaked right before Al-Sisi’s nomination, in which he denied the integrity of the upcoming elections, stating that everything was prepared in advance, the ballot boxes were prepared ahead of time, and everything was rigged for Al-Sisi’s victory.
He couldn’t run in the elections, and he harshly criticised the military council for nominating him and involving itself in the elections in such a blatant manner. He said: “They don’t understand politics.” So, what changed all of a sudden in Egypt, as the Military Council controls every aspect of life in the country? It has even become involved and brutal and everyone knows that the upcoming elections will not be honest, but rather a satirical play that only needs an extra to make Al-Sisi’s victory seem legitimate, winning him a second presidential term. The same happened during the first elections with Hamdeen Sabahi. This election’s extra has already been founded and prepped, i.e. attorney Khaled Ali, who already has a scandalous case against him.
However, Ahmed Shafiq will not be an extra in any election, as he is difficult to beat and has his supporters and fans, especially members of Mubarak’s government, including members of the National Democratic Party and businessmen. So, I ask again, what suddenly changed making Shafiq decide to run in the presidential elections from the Israeli conspiracy state, the UAE, which sponsored the coup, and has been acting like Egypt is its 8th emirate for the past four years?
There is no doubt that the surprise announcement caused hubbub and reactions from every level, including the official level and the opposition. The fragility of both levels was apparent, as once Shafiq announced his decision to run in the presidential elections, the state’s media mouthpieces attacked him and brought up corruption and harassment cases against him. Everyone seemed to be saying the same thing, as the script is issued from the same place that governs all of the satellite channels and distributes the scripts to everyone so that no one deviates from it. Even television presenters are not allowed to improvise, even if they are portraying the same meaning!
Meanwhile, the opposition divided into the nobles, who still cling to the principles of the January Revolution and have not changed with time nor have their eyes deviated from their goal. They reject the presidential elections on principle, as they have a legitimate elected president who was kidnapped. Furthermore, Shafiq’s candidacy in their eyes is a great challenge of the revolution, as he is a remnant of Mubarak’s state, against which they revolted. They also consider him to be responsible for the “Battle of the Camels” in which dozens were killed and wounded.
Others believe we must be realistic, seize the opportunity, and support Shafiq, considering him a lifesaver rescuing the country from the crises it is experiencing. They especially feel this way because of Shafiq’s position on the Tiran and Sanafir islands, which he stressed, were Egyptian. He also expressed his position on the agreement Al-Sisi signed with Ethiopia and Sudan, which conceded Egypt’s historical rights to the Nile water. They also believe he is capable of achieving a comprehensive reconciliation in the country and can rescue the country from the cocoon of division and conflict. They even went as far as comparing him to the late Turkish president Turgut Ozal! A few hours later, Turgut Ozal turned into Saad Hariri, as Shafiq announced in a recording broadcasted on Al Jazeera that the Emirati authorities have preventing him from travelling, as he was set to travel to France to meet with the Egyptians there, as part of his electoral campaign.
He considered this Emirati intervention in Egypt’s internal affairs, while his supporters considered him to be kidnapped by the UAE in order to stop him from running against Al-Sisi. They attacked the Emirati government for interfering in Egypt’s internal affairs. This is the joke of the season, as he and they are blaming the UAE for interfering in this, while the UAE funded the coup, put the current government in power, and has invested in it.
The corrupt media’s attacks on Shafiq increased because his statement was broadcasted on Al Jazeera. Events began to take place quickly, as the UAE sent him on a private plane to the Egyptian authorities and none of his family members or supporters who went to meet him at the airport saw him. They began to shout that Shafiq has been forcibly disappeared and activists began addressing the international community. A day passed when no one knew where Shafiq was being held, but then he appeared on television with a presenter who was suspended six months ago for conducting a telephone interview with him, during which he stressed that Tiran and Sanafir islands are Egyptian. In his television interview, he stated that he is still considering the issue of his candidacy and has not yet decided. He also thanked the UAE for its hospitality and thanked Al-Sisi for his warm welcome. He then claimed that Al Jazeera hacked his private phone!
Many believe that the whole story is actually a fabricated story agreed upon by the concerned parties. I do not believe this is true; I believe that someone influenced him and tricking him into believing they would support him, and wanted to make him a hero that the public would rally behind. However, the government in Egypt was upset by this and it seems that Shafiq’s statement was dictated to him under pressure. This shook his image and made him seem weak. The question remains: Has Shafiq been burned once and for all and will the curtain fall on him permanently, or will they revive him?
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.