Two new figures, opposition activist and head of Egypt's liberal Constitution Party (al-Dostour) Gameela Ismail and Chairman of the Egyptian Social Democratic Party Farid Zahran, have announced they were running for the upcoming presidential elections in Egypt.
Ismail informed her party of her decision to enter the presidential race in response to a request from its supreme body. She has called for an extraordinary general assembly on October 4 to vote on her candidacy.
On Wednesday, Egypt's National Election Authority (NEA) announced that it had completed the "logistical procedures" for the upcoming elections, emphasizing it will maintain an equal distance from all candidates.
NEA executive director Ahmed Bendari stated that the Authority will guarantee the full rights of all candidates who meet the nomination requirements.
Zahran announced that his party held an urgent meeting to review its stance on the upcoming presidential election, as NEA is set to announce its timetable on Monday.
The meeting was attended by 134 members out of the party's total 143.
According to a party statement, "after a ten-hour meeting, 75 percent of members voted in favor of Zahran running for president, 15 percent objected, and 10 percent abstained."
The Civil Democratic Movement, an opposition coalition comprising 12 parties and public figures, seeks to agree on a single candidate.
If Gameela Ismail runs for the presidency, she will become the first Egyptian woman to do so.
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has not announced his intention to run for another term.
To date, five political figures, including head of the Wafd Party Abdel-Sanad Yamama, former MP and member of the Wafd Party's Higher Council Fouad Badrawi, head of the People's Republican Party Hazem Omar, chairman of the Democratic Peace Party Ahmed el-Fadaly, and former MP and former head of leftist al-Karama Party Ahmed Tantawi have said they have plans to run in the upcoming elections.
Egyptian expert Abdel Moneim Said told Asharq Al-Awsat that Egyptian parties are taking the elections seriously and should continue efforts to agree on one candidate.
During a press conference, the National Election Authority laid down rules stipulating that a candidate for the presidency must be endorsed by at least twenty parliament members or supported by no less than 25,000 citizens who have the right to vote in at least fifteen governorates.