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Competition Window Closes, Granting Sisi Clear Run to Presidency

Competition Window Closes, Granting Sisi Clear Run to Presidency

Monday, 29 January, 2018 - 11:15
An Egyptian woman holds a portrait of Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (June 3, 2014) (File Photo: AFP PHOTO / MOHAMED EL-SHAHED)

Egypt's National Electoral Authority (NEA) announced that Monday is the last day for casting presidential candidacy for the elections scheduled for late March. With that, the current president, Abdul Fattah El-Sisi, became the only candidate to submit his candidacy papers to the committee.

Al-Wafd party announced on Sunday that it will continue to support Sisi after rejecting the candidacy of the party's president Sayyid al-Badawi's, even though he was seen by observers as the last possible competitor in the upcoming elections.

Meanwhile, MP Mustafa Bakri announced on his Twitter account that Sisi will not be the single candidate in the upcoming presidential elections. In a tweet published on Sunday, the MP stated the Monday will bring a surprise as a party candidate will submit his papers.

In the past few days, Bakri confirmed that Badawi and his party are competing against Sisi before Wafd's supreme committee decided to support the current president. He then again hinted at former candidate Hamdeen Sabbahi, who once again confirmed he would not be running.

If he runs alone, Sisi will need to get 5 percent of the total number of voters on the voters' list according to the presidential election law, which means that 3 million Egyptians must vote for him out of the 60 million registered voters.

In the meantime, the head of al-Nour Party, Younis Makhyoun announced his party's support to President Sisi in running for a second term in the presidential election due in March.

"President Sisi is the only person who can bring the country the stability and protection," Makhyoun said in a press conference, calling on people to participate in the election due in March.

The party's statement indicated that in accordance with "party’s decision-based counseling, the party surveyed the views of the various party bodies, offices and secretariats in the governorates."

The party’s supreme committee saw that the "incumbent president, Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, is the most capable of upholding such great responsibilities and can enhance cooperation among all state institutions: the police, the parliament, the administrative bodies to achieve stability, and save the country from a multitude of dangers."

Despite its support for Sisi, Nour party also criticized government policies supported by the current president. Makhyoun called for "addressing the negative economic effects on the poor and middle classes," and warned against the gap between classes, which is a great economic and social risk.

Former presidential candidate Abdul Moneim Aboul-Fotouh, former MP Anwar Sadat, and team members of former presidential candidate Sami Anan: Hisham Geneina and Hazem Hosni called for canceling the elections that have lost all credibility.

In a joint statement, the signatories called for boycotting the elections expressing their concern of a possible change of the constitution by opening presidential terms and eliminating any opportunity for a peaceful rotation of power.

“We urge our glorious people to boycott the vote and not to recognize whatever result it would produce,” said the statement.

Meanwhile, NEA spokesman Mahmoud el-Sherif, announced that up until the last day before ending candidacy, the authority had not received any requests. He pointed out that passes for observers of approved civil society organizations and media permits will be distributed.

The Authority approved applications submitted by 16 civil society organizations wishing to monitor the upcoming presidential elections, bringing the total number of approved organizations to 44 local organizations, four international organizations, the National Council for Human Rights and the National Council for Women.

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