May 19 - Egyptians from the neighborhood where presidential front-runner Sisi grew up say he will be good leader, but warn that people will rise up against him if he fails. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
In the narrow, bustling streets of Cairo's ancient Gamaliya neighbourhood, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is a hometown hero. His supporters see him as a saviour -- who can end the political turmoil dogging the country since a popular uprising ended Hosni Mubarak's rule in 2011. They point to the humble beginnings of the man now on the verge of becoming Egypt's next head of state. A local barber says Sisi is just what the country needs. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) BARBER, AM SAEED, SAYING: "What we need now is a leader, a military man, because that is who would rule the country well. Nothing but a military man will do. Did we get rid of Mursi to just bring in another like him? That doesn't work. What we need is the man who rescued the country. The man who truly rescued the country when it was drowning is Abdel Fattah al-Sisi." But even his supporters worry that Egyptian voters could turn on him if he doesn't quickly improve their lot. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) FORMER MEMBER OF CONSULTATIVE COUNCIL, MOHSEN ATTIYA, SAYING: "The Egyptian people are now aware. They have risen up against two leaders and brought them down. They could rise up against you Sisi for the third time if you don't go down the right path." Sisi played a prominent role in the interim government following the ouster of Mohamed Mursi. Rights activists say the last ten months have been characterized by severe abuses by the security forces and restrictions on free expression. Supporters see it the other way -- that the man who ousted Mursi rescued the nation from a cult of religious extremists who hijacked the 2011 revolution.