EGYPT TO ANNOUNCE 2018 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION TIMETABLE

CAIRO, Egypt, Egypt’s National Election Authority (NEA), will announce on Jan 8, the timetable for the 2018 presidential elections, the authority said, in a press conference on Tuesday.

“A panel was also formed to receive requests from local and international NGOs, that are willing to oversee the electoral process,” said NEA spokesman, Mahmoud al-Sherif.

He said, the announcement will be made in a press conference in Cairo, during which “all information pertaining to the process, in terms of timing and procedures, will be disclosed.”

The NEA spokesman noted that, the maximum electoral publicity for each candidate, in the first electoral round, is limited to 20 million Egyptian pounds (about 1.1 million U.S. dollars).

Egyptian President, Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, took office in mid-2014, a year after he led the ouster of his Islamist predecessor, Mohammed Morsi, in July 2013, in response to mass protests against Morsi’s one-year rule, and his now-outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group.

Sisi said in Nov, 2017, that, the 2018 presidential elections will be held in Mar or Apr as scheduled, stressing that, he will not seek to change the constitutional limit of two four-year presidential terms, thus ruling out a third presidential term for himself, after a possible second one.

Although he has yet to formally announce his candidacy for the 2018 election, Sisi is widely expected to do so, and to earn a landslide victory, due to the absence of competitive challengers in the presidential bid.

A pro-Sisi campaign said last Dec that, it collected over 12 million signatures of Egyptians, more than 11 percent of the population, supporting Sisi to run for a second presidential term.

Egyptian rights and opposition lawyer, Khaled Ali, announced in Nov last year, his intention to join the presidential race. However, there is a possibility for Ali’s disqualification, as he had received a suspended three-month jail term, earlier in Sept, over an obscene hand gesture he reportedly made, after winning a court order, challenging the government.

On the other hand, former air force commander and former prime minister, Ahmed Shafiq, who fled Egypt after narrowly losing to Morsi, in the 2012 elections, announced from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), his intention to run for president.

Shafiq then came back from the UAE in early Dec, and said he will reconsider his bid for Egypt’s presidency.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK