Trending: Egyptians say #DontGo as Sisi polls open

Trending: Egyptians say #DontGo as Sisi polls open
Egyptian tweeps have called for a boycott of the country's presidential elections using the Arabic hashtag 'Don't Go'.
2 min read
26 Mar, 2018
Egypt has over 60,000 political prisoners detained [Getty]
Egyptians took to social media Sunday evening, hours before polls opened for the country's controversial presidential elections, using the hashtag #matenzelsh or "don't go".

Egypt is set to vote for its coming president in the coming three-days, in an election that almost guaranteed to see current President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi "elected" for a second four-year term, with all opponents arrested or pressured to quit the race.

Within minutes, the trending hashtag #DontGo became the top trend in Egypt as thousands lambasted the current regime for its economic shortcomings and human rights abuses.

Translation: #DontGo because they kidnapped Fatima and her one-year old daughter Alia! Children not yet weaned are now part of the enforced disappearances list.

Twitter users said that the over 60,000 political prisoners in Egypt's jails were one of the reasons they would not vote in the "sham election".

Others cited the country's stagnant economy, the lack of security, and the sale of Egyptian Islands Tiran and Sanafir to Saudi Arabia.

Translation: #DontGo because he said he will protect the country from terrorism, and he created terrorism.

Translation: #DontGo so your vote doesn't bring more pain to the families of the dead and the detained

Any serious rivals to Sisi in the election race have been jailed or forced to quit. He now faces just one contender who has consistently praised Sisi and his regime.

In an interview broadcast on Egyptian television last week, 63-year-old Sisi said the lack of opponents was not his doing.

"I swear to God, I wish there were one, two, three, ten [candidates] standing against me of the best people and you could choose as you like from us. But we are still not ready yet," Sisi said.

Sisi - then defence minister - came into power in 2013 after forcibly ousting Egypt's first democratically elected President Mohammed Morsi. He was "elected" in 2014 in a landslide victory securing 97 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.

President Sisi oversaw the bloodiest massacre in Egypt's modern history, when over a thousand were killed by security forces in the space of a few hours.