A general view shows portraits of candidates for the upcoming parliamentary elections, hanging in the Imbaba district of the Egyptian capital, Cairo, on October 15, 2015. AFP PHOTO / KHALED DESOUKI
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When Gen. Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi swapped his uniform for a suit to become Egyptian president, he mapped out a return to democracy culminating in parliamentary elections.As army chief, Sisi removed Islamist President Mohammad Morsi from power in 2013 .To many, Sisi was a savior who could get Egypt back on track after the upheaval triggered by the 2011 uprising that ended 30 years under Hosni Mubarak, a former air force chief. Less than a year later, Egyptians who opposed the Brotherhood and regarded Sisi as a decisive leader who could bring stability, elected him president. Like past Egyptian presidents, Sisi has presented himself as an indispensable leader in the Arab world, pushing the idea of a united regional force to combat ISIS militants.Sisi is also unlikely to be threatened internally as long as he does not antagonize the still powerful generals.A debate among villagers on the outskirts of the southern city of Minya illustrates how Egyptians appear to accept Sisi's rule.On one thing the villagers agreed: Sisi wouldn't be satisfied with just two terms.
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