Egypt's National Electoral Authority announced on Tuesday the preliminary list of candidates for the presidential elections scheduled for the end of March, including current president Abdul Fattah el-Sisi and the head of Ghad Party Musa Mustafa Musa.
Meanwhile, seven political parties and a number of figures including the presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabahi called to boycott the presidential elections because of what he considered as "a lack of guarantees of competition."
In return, Sisi campaign denied that it was responsible for the lack of candidates and their withdrawal from the race.
During a press conference, Civilian Democratic Movement, a coalition of several movements and parties, announced they will not vote during the elections and called on voters to stay away from ballot boxes and on Egyptians not to recognize the vote's outcome.
The parties came up with the slogan “stay home” for the boycotting campaign.
Sabahi called on other pro-democracy groups to join the coalition: "Come and let us stand together. This is a moment when the people will make their say known and, God willing, the say of the people will prevail."
Seven parties participated in the announcement of the boycott: Reform and Development, Popular Alliance Party, al-Dastour Party, Justice Party, Egyptian Social Democratic Party, al-Karama Movement, and Freedom Egypt Party.
This is not the first call to boycott the presidential elections. 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.
Legal adviser and spokesperson for the electoral campaign of Sisi, Mohammed Abu Shoka, said Monday that his candidate should not be asked about the lack of other candidates in the upcoming election.
Speaking at a press conference, Abu Shoka indicated that Sisi is not responsible for politicians’ "reluctance to engage in political life, the blame should be directed towards those who did not succeed [in meeting candidacy requirements]."
Abu Shoka indicated that Sisi’s campaign submitted 173,000 endorsement forms from citizens to the National Electoral Authority, although more than 900,000 forms were received by the campaign.
Several politicians had announced their intentions presidential election, but withdrew later, including: former prime minister of Egypt, Ahmed Shafiq, former MP Anwar Sadat, lawyer Khalid Ali, and head of Wafd Party al-Sayyid Badawi, whose party refused his candidacy and announced its support to Sisi.
In addition, Former Chief of Staff Sami Annan 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."
The Egyptian Trade Union Federation (ETUF) organised an indoor rally on Tuesday for its members to back Sisi in the upcoming presidential elections in March.
The NEA announced on Monday the end of the ten-day deadline set for receiving presidential election applications.
The Authority had received applications from Sisi and Mostafa Musa, the leader of al-Ghad Party, to run for the coming presidential elections due to be held in March.
The NEA said it will examine the papers presented from the would-be candidates ahead of announcing the candidacy list on Wednesday.
Spokesman of the Authority Advisor Mahmoud El-Sherif, announced that 48 local organizations, 9 international organizations, National Human Rights Council, National Council for Women and the National Council for Disability have all been approved to monitor the upcoming elections.
Spokesman for the Presidency Bassam Radhi stated that President Sisi held a meeting with the Prime Minister Sharif Ismail and a number of minister. During the meeting, the officials reviewed the government's efforts to provide basic food commodities in the markets with appropriate quantities and prices, and the procedures for monitoring the markets.
The spokesman added that the steps were taken to activate the National Academy for Training and Rehabilitation of Youth and activate its training programs aimed at achieving the human development requirements of the youth in all sectors and upgrading their abilities and skills to achieve comprehensive human, economic and social development.