January has been a troubling month for Egyptian politics. In a substantial blow to the pretense of fair elections, the military-backed authorities ramped up efforts to clear the field ahead of the presidential poll slated for March 26 to 28.
Five candidates were either forced out of the race by the military or have exited on their own as a result of an intensive campaign of interference and intimidation.
Now, President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi will run virtually uncontested. He was elected to his first term in 2014 with 97 percent of the vote, a figure that many suspected was inflated. The result came less than a year after he seized power in a coup.