This week, Egyptian voters are going to the polls, either to vote to reelect President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi or to vote for the other guy.
Noting that most significant presidential contenders were either arrested, or were intimidated out of running, many media organizations have argued that Egypt’s elections this week are a farce.
Although there accounts disputing those claims, it is true that government bodies placed obstacles to running before several candidates. So it is hard to argue that this week’s election is an open one.
But there is a deeper issue at stake in Egypt than popular elections.
That issue is whether Egypt – a country with 90 million citizens – will become a threat to itself and to the world, or whether Egypt will somehow beat the odds, and survive by liberalizing. Sisi is betting on survival through liberalization. If he fails, no amount of open and free and unfettered elections will save Egypt from destruction.