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The Washington Post: Putin and al-Sisi hold elections. Why bother?

Journalist Jackson Diehl points out in The Washington Post that China’s President XI Jinping is «aggressively promoting a new model of managing people» – personal dictatorship, supported by nationalism.

«Apparently, among the world leaders [to this] most likely Russian President Vladimir Putin and Egyptian President Abd al-Fattah al-Sisi. Both of them consolidated the personal power on a nationalist platform. Therefore, it is interesting that both Putin and al-Sisi this month, presidential elections are conducted, the article says. – Of course, it’s not a real election. It’s Potemkin contests that bestow two dictators win with an overwhelming majority, partly due to the elimination of all serious opponents. With regard to the Russian vote on 18 March or elections in Egypt, which will be held in 10 days after that exciting only one thing: the percentage of unfaithful, because in both countries the leaders of the opposition call for boycott».

«Still, Putin and al-Sisi felt the need to participate in something resembling an exercise in democracy, and even to the election campaign, struggling for votes. Putin goes on the plants, and last Thursday burst into a fiery nationalist speech that reeked of populism in the spirit of trump. Al-Sisi, for his part, has launched a new, focused on a TV campaign in the Sinai Peninsula last month. Last week his chief Prosecutor unleashed a broadside on the ever-popular target – foreign media», – said the journalist.

«Why bother?» asks Diehl. «I think the answer is obvious: for the sake of legitimacy, says the expert on global trends of development of democracy from Stanford University, Larry diamond. Today the principles of democracy remain quite resonant, and leaders like al-Sisi and Putin feel the need to show that they had won the superficially competitive elections that they are the people’s choice.»

The Washington Post: Putin and al-Sisi hold elections. Why bother? 05.03.2018

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