Abdul Fattah al-Sisi was reelected as Egypt’s president—and that was inevitable even before the authorities announced the result, which was set for 18 December.
The voting from 10 to 12 December was a charade. A few alternative candidates were allowed to stand in order to give spurious legitimacy to the process—but none had dared to actually criticise Sisi.
Sisi has claimed to back the Palestinians. But he refuses to open up and pour aid and solidarity through the Rafah crossing. He allowed only state-sanctioned demonstrations to support the Palestinians, although a non-state sanctioned demonstration was also bravely organised.
Sisi led a military coup against the Muslim Brotherhood president, Mohammed Morsi, in 2013. He has ruled with extreme repression for a decade. He now has “won” a new six-year term.
He could have faced real opposition from the left winger Ahmed Tantawi. But Sisi’s forces prevented Tantawi from standing—and he now faces a criminal trial for “circulating election-related papers without official authorisation”.
Posing as the friend of the Palestinians has helped Sisi temporarily dampen the anger over rising prices—inflation is running at 40 percent.
Official figures show that nearly a third of Egypt’s 100 million population lives below the poverty line.
The Egyptian Revolutionary Socialists called on people to “boycott the elections and expose the regime’s miserable attempt to stage another drama”.
Half a million Canadian workers in pay strike
More than 420,000 public sector workers in Canada began a seven-day strike on Friday 8 December in a fight in Quebec over pay.
Union leaders in the Common Front coalition said they would escalate to an indefinite strike if there wasn’t a deal.
The December strikes saw workers across the public sector, including in health care and education, join 65,000 teachers in French language schools who began an all-out strike on 23 November.
And 80,000 health workers joined the action for four days from 11 December.
They have rejected a 12.7 percent pay raise over five years—well below inflation.
And even this wage‑cutting offer depends on workers accepting worse conditions, increased workloads and more management control.
Quebec is a semi‑autonomous province of Canada with a status similar to Scotland in Britain. Workers are confronting the nationalist, right wing Quebec government.Original post