and then there was one

Egypt’s Ahmed Tantawi: The last major opposition leader standing up to Sisi

By Stephanie al-Hakim

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Posted on March 20, 2021 01:12

Ahmed Tantawi is one of the last major opposition figures in Egypt not to be behind bars. Less than 10 days after losing his place in parliament, he won the presidency of the Dignity Party (Hezb el Karama) on 25 December 2020. In a political environment that continues to silence opposing voices, Tantawi and his party risk the same fate.

In a country that loves its political talk shows, Ahmed Tantawi is known to Egyptians who have regularly seen him on such programmes to discuss political reforms.

But having become increasingly critical of the regime, he is no longer invited to those shows, but instead is solicited by foreign media, such as the BBC and France 24.

Rise to power

Born in the Nile delta city of Mansoura, the father of three graduated from the University of Mansoura with a master’s in political science. A member of the Journalists’ Syndicate, he worked as a journalist and was editor-in-chief of the political section for the Al Karama newspaper, which is published by the political party he now heads.

He has not hidden his Nasserist leanings – supporting the ideas of Gamal Abdel Nasser, Egypt’s president at independence in 1952 – and was one of the founding members of the Egyptian Popular Movement: a secular

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