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Egypt Heads Towards Presidential Elections with Only Sisi as its Candidate

Egypt Heads Towards Presidential Elections with Only Sisi as its Candidate

Sunday, 28 January, 2018 - 10:00
Supreme Body of Wafd Party, Chairman Sayyid al-Badawi (center) (AFP)

As the National Elections Authority (NEA) prepares to close the presidential candidacy on Monday, al-Wafd party rejected the request of chairman Sayyid al-Badawi to contest the competition against current President and second-term candidate Abdul Fattah el-Sisi.

Sisi remains the only one who presented his papers two days before closing the candidacy for the elections scheduled for the end of March.

The supreme body of the Wafd Party had unanimous vote for a resolution confirming its continuous support for the Sisi's nomination, which the party had announced weeks ago.

Wafd's spokesman Yasir Hassan told Asharq Al-Awsat that Badawi will not go for elections independently and is committed to the decision of the party's supreme body.

The meeting was held on Saturday as some members rallied infront of the party's headquarters and held banners calling on the party not to run for the presidential elections. Participants said they supported the nomination of Sisi for a second term.

The results of the vote concluded with the rejection of 42 members running for presidential election, while only 4 were approved.

On Friday, Badawi filed a request to the specialized medical councils to conduct the mandatory medical examination for all candidates for presidential elections. He was supposed to go through physical examination on Saturday had his party approved his candidacy.

Several candidates announced their intention to run for the elections, but they withdrew over the past days. The first was former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafik, who said he was not the "ideal person to lead the state’s affairs during the coming period. Thus I have decided not to run for the upcoming 2018 presidential elections.”

Then former parliamentary MP Anwar Sadat did the same thing, and so did Khalid Ali, who complained of lack of democratic mechanisms and announced “the opportunity for hope in this presidential election has gone.”

Former Chief of Staff Sami Annan, who removed his name from the database of voters, after he was accused by the "armed forces" of forging the required documents and "inciting against the Egyptian army with the aim of driving a wedge between the armed forces and the Egyptian people."

Expert on political systems Omar Hashim Rabie told Asharq Al-Awsat that Wafd's decision not to run for the presidential elections came to correct its positions. It seems surprising to announce the desire to run for elections against the current president, four weeks after declaring his support for him, without any change in positions that could justify this, he added.

"Trying to push Badawi to run for elections was an attempt to cover up the flaws of the elections in the absence of competitiveness and avoid reaching a referendum instead of a election," Rabie explained.

Head of the authority Lashin Ibrahim announced that 44 local organizations, 4 international organizations, National Human Rights Council and the National Council for Women have all been approved to monitor the upcoming elections.

Spokesman of the National Elections Authority Mahmoud El-Sherif said that the committee concerned with the amendment of the electoral locations of citizens has moved to their governorates of assembly to facilitate their right in casting their votes.

Sherif added that approximately one million and 100,000 endorsement forms had been issued by citizens to those whom they wish to nominate in the upcoming presidential elections. He added that the issuance of endorsement will continue until Monday.

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