Egyptian Opposition Moves to 'Boycott' Presidential Elections

Judges of the National Elections Authority await potential Egyptian presidential candidates (EPA)
Judges of the National Elections Authority await potential Egyptian presidential candidates (EPA)
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Egyptian Opposition Moves to 'Boycott' Presidential Elections

Judges of the National Elections Authority await potential Egyptian presidential candidates (EPA)
Judges of the National Elections Authority await potential Egyptian presidential candidates (EPA)

Major Egyptian opposition forces announced they were considering boycotting the upcoming presidential election due to restrictions on individuals who wish to support potential candidates against the incumbent president, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, seeking a third term.

Potential candidates need to secure the support of at least 25,000 voters from 15 different provinces or 20 members of parliament and submit their applications before October 14 to be eligible for the election to take place between December 10 and 12.

Sisi confirmed on Monday that he will stand for a third term in office, claiming substantial citizen endorsements and parliamentarian nominations.

Three other potential nominees announced their candidacy: Head of the People's Republican Party (PRP) Hazem Omar, leader of Wafd Party Abdel-Sanad Yamama, and leftist Egyptian Social Democratic Party Farid Zahran. They reportedly secured parliamentarian endorsements and underwent medical checkups to prepare for their candidacy submission.

Meanwhile, former lawmaker Ahmed el-Tantawi and head of the Constitution Party Gameela Ismail are still working on gathering the necessary support or endorsements.

The Civil Democratic Movement, a coalition of 12 parties and public figures, showcased videos they claim document violations experienced by citizens attempting to support their candidates.

Member of the Movement Akmal Kortam said they asked the National Elections Authority (NEA) to provide several guarantees to ensure election integrity but have yet to receive a substantial response.

Kortam hinted at the possibility of an election boycott if the situation remains unchanged and citizens continue to be prevented from supporting their candidates.

Head of the Socialist Popular Alliance Party Medhat al-Zahed mentioned that boycotting the elections is an available option the movement could use if the polls were not guaranteed.

Zahed told Asharq Al-Awsat that there is an agreement among the potential candidates within the movement to collectively withdraw from the elections if any of them experiences violations.

The National Election Authority claimed to have investigated several complaints without finding any violations or favoritism. It also announced extending the working hours of the registration offices to allow for endorsements.

In a recent statement, Presidential Pardon Committee member Tarek El-Awadi announced via platform 'X' that releasing mandates is proceeding smoothly and efficiently.

Furthermore, Deputy Director of al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies (ACPSS) Amr Hashem Rabie believes that an opposition boycott would negatively affect the credibility of the presidential elections and alter the results.

The National Election Authority began receiving presidential candidacy applications on Thursday for ten days, ending on October 14. No one has submitted candidacy papers for the presidential elections on the first day.

Voting for Egyptians abroad will start on December 1, 2, and 3, while local voting will occur on December 10, 11, and 12.



Israeli Tanks at Edge of Rafah's Mawasi Refuge Zone

A man walks across  fallen tents the day after a strike on the al-Mawasi area, northwest of the Palestinian city of Rafah on June 22, 2024.  (Photo by Bashar TALEB / AFP)
A man walks across fallen tents the day after a strike on the al-Mawasi area, northwest of the Palestinian city of Rafah on June 22, 2024. (Photo by Bashar TALEB / AFP)
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Israeli Tanks at Edge of Rafah's Mawasi Refuge Zone

A man walks across  fallen tents the day after a strike on the al-Mawasi area, northwest of the Palestinian city of Rafah on June 22, 2024.  (Photo by Bashar TALEB / AFP)
A man walks across fallen tents the day after a strike on the al-Mawasi area, northwest of the Palestinian city of Rafah on June 22, 2024. (Photo by Bashar TALEB / AFP)

Israeli tanks advanced to the edge of the Mawasi displaced persons' camp in the northwest of the southern Gaza city of Rafah on Sunday in fierce fighting with Hamas-led fighters, residents said.
Images of two Israeli tanks stationed on a hilltop overlooking the coastal area went viral on social media, but Reuters could not independently verify them.

"The fighting with the resistance has been intense. The occupation forces are overlooking the Mawasi area now, which forced families there to head for Khan Younis," said one resident, who asked not to be named, on a chat app.

More than eight months into Israel's war in the Hamas-administered Palestinian enclave, its advance is focused on the two areas its forces have yet to seize: Rafah on Gaza's southern tip and the area surrounding Deir al-Balah in the center.

Residents said Israeli tanks had pushed deeper into western and northern Rafah in recent days, blowing up dozens of houses.

The Israeli military said it was continuing "intelligence-based, targeted operations" in the Rafah area and had located weapons stores and tunnel shafts, and killed Palestinian gunmen.

The armed wings of Hamas and the Islamic Jihad movement said their fighters had attacked Israeli forces in Rafah with anti-tank rockets and mortar bombs and pre-planted explosive devices.

Elsewhere, an Israeli airstrike killed eight Palestinians in Sabra, a suburb of Gaza City in the north, and another strike killed two people in Nuseirat in central Gaza.

The military said it had struck dozens of targets throughout the Strip.

On Saturday, Palestinian health officials said at least 40 Palestinians had been killed in separate Israeli strikes in some northern Gaza districts, where the Israeli army said it had attacked Hamas's military infrastructure. Hamas said the targets were the civilian population.

In Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip, health officials at Kamal Adwan Hospital said a baby had died of malnutrition, taking the number of children dead of malnutrition or dehydration since Oct. 7 to at least 30, a number that health officials say reflects under-recording.