Egypt’s western allies have been urged to denounce the country’s “farcical” presidential election, after authorities detained a top anti-corruption official and the former running mate of a challenger to President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi. Fourteen international and Egyptian rights groups, including Human Rights Watch and the International Commission of Jurists, condemned the forthcoming March presidential elections, accusing the Sisi government of having “trampled over even the minimum requirements for free and fair elections” in his bid for a second term.
Articles about voting issues in the Arab Republic of Egypt.
The chairmen of seven political parties launched a campaign on Monday that seeks to mobilise the public to vote in the presidential election, scheduled for 26-28 March. In a statement issued following a meeting at the Wafd Party’s headquarters on 11 February political leaders said “a central operation room” will be formed in order to mobilise citizens in all governorates to cast their ballots. Yasser Qoura, assistant secretary-general of the Wafd Party, told Al-Ahram Weekly that the operation room will start work next week. “The campaign is a response to those who are calling for a boycott. We want as many citizens as possible to participate and vote,” he said.
Over a dozen international and regional rights groups said on Tuesday that next month’s presidential election in Egypt does not meet the “minimum requirements” for a fair and free vote and called on Cairo’s Western allies to denounce the “farcical” election. The incumbent, general-turned-president Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, is virtually certain to win the March vote, his only challenger an obscure politician and one of his most ardent supporters. Moussa Mustafa Moussa entered the race in the eleventh hour, sparing el-Sissi and his government the deeper embarrassment of a one-candidate election. Meanwhile, leaders of opposition parties who called for a boycott of the vote are being investigated on allegations they are seeking to destabilize the country.
Egypt’s prosecutor-general has ordered an official investigation into a number of opposition politicians who are boycotting next month’s presidential election, as President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi looks set to extend his term. Nabil Sadeq, Egypt’s prosecutor general, said in a statement on Monday that 13 individuals may be summoned to the Giza office for “incitement against the state” and attempting to “overthrow the regime”. This comes as opposition parties called for a boycott of the March vote last month. Among those to be investigated is Hamdeen Sabahi, Sisi’s only rival in the 2014 presidential elections.
Opposition parties and figures in Egypt called on Tuesday for a boycott of the March presidential election in which incumbent Abdel Fattah al-Sisi looks set to romp to victory. Branding the poll a “charade”, the coalition of eight parties and 150 public figures announced a campaign under the slogan “Stay at home” ahead of voting on March 26-28. “No to participation in this charade,” said Hamdeen Sabbahi, a presidential candidate in 2012 and 2014. At a news conference by the coalition, founded in December and describing itself as a democratic civic movement, Sabbahi asked: “How can we speak of an election when there is no guarantee of a free vote?”
An Egyptian politician emerged just ahead of a deadline on Monday as the sole challenger to President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in a March election the incumbent appears set to win after other candidates withdrew citing repression. Mousa Mostafa Mousa leads the Ghad party, which had endorsed Sisi for a second term and even organized events to help nominate the former military commander as recently as last week. Mousa said he would mount a full challenge to Sisi, though opposition activists, journalists, and analysts took to Twitter to dismiss him as a dummy candidate, standing only to give the impression of a full democratic contest. “This is all theater,” said a shopkeeper outside the Ghad party headquarters in downtown Cairo.
Seven years after massive street protests in Cairo that toppled longtime dictator Hosni Mubarak and galvanized “Arab Spring” revolts across the region, Egypt’s field of hopefuls in its presidential election has essentially dwindled to one: President Abdel Fattah Sisi. And for supporters of the former field marshal, that’s a bit embarrassing: Even if Sisi scores a near-unanimous victory at the ballot box, as he did in a previous vote, many in his camp would like him to have at least a symbolic opponent. But critics say it is the president’s backers who have engineered a string of abrupt bowings-out by potential rivals.
If there was any doubt that Egypt’s upcoming presidential election will be neither free nor fair, the arrest of former military chief of staff Sami Anan shortly after announcing that he would run for president has made it crystal clear. The March vote will in no way confirm President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s popularity among the Egyptian people. This election campaign is merely an extension of the internal power struggle among the military and the regime’s security services, and it has nothing to do with democratic mechanisms worthy of the name. In the early hours of Saturday morning, Anan returned to the political scene. In a video announcement that was released on his Facebook page after midnight, the Hosni Mubarak-era general declared his intention to run in the upcoming presidential election.
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi finally declared his candidacy for re-election in March and pledged a “transparent” election process. The widely-anticipated announcement came at the end of a three-day conference that focused on the president’s record since he was elected in a 2014 landslide. With no formidable challenger on the horizon, and given the support he enjoys among many Egyptians as well as from the country’s security institutions, another victory for the former military chief seems all but assured. “If you think that I gave my maximum energy with you and want to return the favor to me, all I wish from you and regardless of your choice is to show the world your participation in the vote and choose whoever you want,” El-Sisi said in a speech aired live on TV.
Egypt: Elections authority sets cap of EGP 20 million for campaign financing in presidential elections | Ahram Online
Egypt’s National Elections Authority has set a cap of EGP 20 million (1.3 million) on campaign financing for each candidate running in the country’s upcoming presidential elections, which are set for 26-28 March. The ceiling for campaign financing during the run-off period – if one were to take place – is set at EGP 5 million ($282,000), the authority said on Tuesday. Candidates must mostly finance their campaigns with their own private funds, and are allowed to receive donations of no more that 2 percent of the funding limit.