The turnout in the Egyptian elections was so low that they had to extend the 2 voting days to 3. Despite this only 10% of the electorate voted to US puppet Sisi. US imperialism pumped hundreds of millions of dollars into this election, hoping to give legitimacy to their coup leader al Sisi. With over 37 000 voting stations, there was virtually a polling booth on every street corner, yet the masses rejected them. Even the pro-imperialist Al Jazeera put an optimistic figure of a 10% turnout. In several places there was not even a single vote. The regime tried to cover up its humiliating defeat by falsifying a vote tally for them. But even so, the farce was only exaggerated- there were more spoilt ballots than votes for the second ‘candidate’.
Virtually all the masses boycotted the election; the only people who supported Sisi were the police, their families and part of the upper middle class and a part of the capitalist class. Even the capitalists were divided over whether to support him. US imperialism faces a huge crisis of legitimacy as the masses have roundly and completely rejected their candidate.
The rejection goes further, namely that, especially in the aftermath of hundreds of protestors getting the death sentence (these have not yet been carried out) and on the other hand, that mass murderer Hosni Mubarak only receiving an 8 year sentence, the masses have not only rejected the candidate of US imperialism, the masses have rejected the state apparatus itself.
Billions of dollars from US imperialism in military ‘aid’, billions of dollars from Saudi Arabia and the Emirates have not been enough to secure the support of the masses for the coup leader and the state apparatus. Imperialism had wanted to secure their military dictatorship through the cover of democracy but even this shell has been rejected by the masses. Imperialism likes to impress the masses on home soil with their democratic credentials but the Egyptian elections show the reality: that imperialism rules through brute force throughout the world. Sisi is a dictator and he is backed by US imperialism, that much is clear to the masses around the world.
What are the implications for imperialism in the Middle East?
Egypt is one of the main bastions of imperialism to control the masses in the Middle East. Egypt has 80 million people, by far the highest population in the region, and has several million workers employed across Saudi Arabia, the Emirates and across the Middle East. The control by imperialism over the masses in the Middle East depends to a great extent on the control over the Egyptian masses as it frees imperialism up to control the masses of the region. No bastion can operate without a support base- the base of US imperialism in Egypt has now evaporated. This mass boycott of Sisi means that even among the rank and file soldiers that Sisi has little support. The boycott also shows that sections of the capitalist class and their base did not support Sisi.
The masses will not forget that Israel, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, all the Emirates, Kuwait supported the military regime. The millions of the Egyptian masses in these countries did note even vote there which in itself is also a protest against these regimes.
Both Russia and the US built up the Egyptian regime, yet despite their joint efforts, the masses rejected their partner Sisi. The role of the Russian regime in supporting dictators of imperialism is to be noted- this is their real role to give credibility to regimes that sustain capitalist rule where imperialism has come under question in the minds of the masses.
The real nature of the coup regime exposed
The total rejection if Sisi at the polls shows that he never had much support even in July when the coup took place. The protests in July 2013 were against the Morsi regime and not for Sisi; in fact imperialism manipulated the media to create the impression that Sisi had support. That lie is now exposed. The coup was pre-emptive as imperialism did not want the masses to displace Morsi and set up their own regime. Any regime really democratically controlled by the masses would have been anti-imperialist and possibly even anti-capitalist. To prevent the masses from setting up their own organs of power, imperialism launched the coup to ensure that capitalist relations and imperialist control remained. Direct democracy in Egypt would have threatened the reactionary regimes in the entire region.
A proposed way forward
Any return of the masses to Tahrir square would now mean that capitalism would not have any major agency to control the masses.
Seeing that the state is now discredited totally, the situation provides a unique opportunity for the masses to set up new organs of self-rule, namely, committees in every factory, industrial area and every working class community, as well as in every school and university. These committees could elect regional and national delegates to set up an interim revolutionary workers’ government.
For those who are clamouring for a Constituent Assembly , the experience of the Mubarak regime, Morsi and now Sisi shows that a capitalist regime, even less a military dictatorship, is incapable of holding democratic elections without restrictions. Each of these regimes brutalised the working class and even capitalist opposition and set restrictions on elections.
It is only a revolutionary workers’ government that can convene any Constituent Assembly without restrictions; thus it is important that the central task is the setting up of such a government based on grassroots workers’ committees, subject to instant recall and where representatives do not take the salary of more than an average skilled worker.
At the same time, conscious effort should be made to win the rank and file over to join the factory and community committees.
Thus the ground will be set to disperse the Sisi dictatorship.
We call on the Socialist left in Egypt to unite on this programme and for the international working class and Socialist forces to give active support to the above programme.
Down with the courts and prisons of Mubarak-Sisi; Forward to a workers’ government! Away with the US-imperialist puppet Sisi. We call on the masses in the USA to mobilise against their own regime for their support of capitalist dictators and fascist regimes around the world.
Forward to a Federation of Socialist workers’ states in North Africa and the Middle East. Forward to a Socialist USA!