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Tyrants cannot imagine life without tyranny

October 6, 2021 at 3:40 pm

Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on August 28, 2021 [LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP via Getty Images]

Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi issued decree number 433 of 2021 withdrawing presidential decree 327 of 2021, which includes the appointment of Mohamed Gamal El-Sayed Taye as an assistant delegate in the State Council. The latter decision was based on the approval of the State Council’s Special Council for Administrative Affairs, in its session held on 28 August 2021, and on what was presented by the minister of justice.

Given the fact that this was published in Egyptian newspapers and websites, quoting the Official Gazette, less than two weeks ago, this means that Al-Sisi has given himself the authority both to approve and terminate appointments. However, this did not prevent him from announcing that his golden rule is never to interfere in judicial affairs.

This claim prompted widespread ridicule, given that the judiciary was one of Sisi’s tools from day one, which he used to seize power through his 2013 coup. However, what attracted even more ridicule were the announcements by the justice minister and head of the constitutional court, who said that the judiciary in Egypt is not politicised, but then announced that Al-Sisi has issued directives and instructions to digitise justice in Egypt. The second announcement contradicts the first, as the latter clearly says that technical matters related to the work of the judiciary can only be carried out through directives and instructions from the president.

A few days ago, when Al-Sisi threatened millions of citizens with the mobilisation of the army to demolish buildings, he stated clearly that he would continue his threats because what he was doing was work beyond imagination; a level that nobody has reached before, and no one will reach after.

READ: US waiving restrictions on military aid to Egypt puts it at risk of complicity in rights abuses

Never in the history of tyrannical regimes have we witnessed a tyrant calling himself excellent and a genius. This was always left to the regime mouthpieces and sycophants, who use political and media platforms to praise the leader as being “ahead of his time”, “inspirational”, “a renaissance builder” and “a homeland developer”. However, Al-Sisi has preferred to do this himself from the beginning; he is the describer and the described, the owner of all authority, even the authority of hypocrisy.

Sisi Era - Cartoon [Latuff/MiddleEastMonitor]

Sisi Era – Cartoon [Carlos Latuff/MiddleEastMonitor]

This obsession with leadership and monopoly is present among all Arab tyrants who consider everything before them to be nothing and therefore useless; who believe that their nations only became nations in the true sense when they came to power; and that life does not go on unless they lead it.

There is little difference between military and civilian tyrants. Kaid Saied, the civilian dictator of Tunisian populism has all the authorities in his hand and issues orders to liquidate political opponents and rivals. He decided that everything before him was null and void; that the revolution that he — hypocritically — supported has died and the parliamentary elections held after it were all flawed and invalid, tainted by financial corruption. In short, everyone and everything is invalid, except for the leader.

Our tyrants only imagine the life of the nation with them sitting on their thrones. They cannot imagine the people being able to exist unless they remain in power. Ultimately, none of them ever thinks that every day that passes is a new beginning. That’s how history is erased and the calendar is cancelled, in a process that does not end until their heart stops beating.

Tyrants only leave their thrones to go into their coffins, and only leave their palaces to go to their graves. In this terrifying process, tyrants do not hesitate to destroy any records that they think will end their rule. They cannot imagine life without tyranny, and we cannot imagine a tyrant living under the mercy of a constitution or just legal system. If a constitution is the father of the law, then the tyrant considers himself to be the father of both the constitution and the law.

This article first appeared in Arabic in Al-Araby Al-Jadeed on 6 October 2021

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.