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Sisi the Invincible

Why Egypt's Next President Won't Fear a Revolution

A supporter of Abdel Fattah al-Sisi holds a military boot on her head as a sign of support for military rule, January 28, 2014. Amr Abdallah Dalsh / Courtesy Reuters

Egyptian Defense Minister Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s quick rise from obscure military bureaucrat to national idol reflects Egypt’s popular mood, which, after three-plus years of constant political tumult, desires stability in the form of a strongman. But his sudden emergence also reflects Egyptians’ moodiness: Sisi represents 180 degrees of ideological difference from Mohamed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood leader whom Egyptians elected less than two years ago and then toppled 12 months later. So it should come as no surprise if Sisi's support quickly dwindles after winning the presidency and Egypt again sees mass protests. (It doesn't help matters that, like virtually every other Egyptian political figure, Sisi has no apparent answers for the country’s significant economic woes, high youth unemployment, and exclusivist politics.)

Yet that doesn't mean that Sisi will face the same fate as Morsi. Even if Sisi faces an uprising, there are good reasons to think he will

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