Sisi vs Sisi: Egypt's 2018 presidential elections
Seven years later, however, the prospects for a transition to democracy seem bleaker than ever.
The first democratically elected leader of the country, Mohammed Morsi, was overthrown in a 2013 military coup by then army chief Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, who a year later was elected president in a landslide victory which saw him secure 96 percent of the vote.
Since the military coup, Egyptian authorities have launched a bloody and far-reaching crackdown on dissent, detaining thousands of political opponents and suppressing civil society and the media.
Egypt will hold presidential elections on 26-28 March, but under Sisi's rule, the vote will be far from fair or free.
Political challengers who posed a threat have been detained or shackled with unsubstantiated charges, undermining the basic requirements for a democratic election.
Sisi only has one token "opponent" in the vote - a fervent supporter who even had Sisi's portrait as his Facebook cover photo. This campaign is a one-horse race.
The New Arab has covered every twist and turn in the unfolding election saga, combining the latest breaking news with insightful political commentary.
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