When he felt his vote would finally count after years of indifference, Mohamed Saad decided to cast his ballot in consecutive referendums and parliamentary and presidential elections after the popular uprising in 2011 renewed hope for a better future for Egypt. A little less than five years have passed and Saad lost his enthusiasm and passion. He realised that hope is a good breakfast, but a bad supper. “I won’t vote again; it’s useless. I will do nothing, absolutely nothing,” said the 25-year-old, who works in a travel agency in Downtown Cairo, referring to Egypt’s upcoming parliamentary elections that kick off 18 and 19 October after months of procrastination and legal wrangling. The election of Egypt’s House of Representatives will complete a roadmap drawn up following the 2013 ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi and return legislative powers from President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, but few feel the urgency left over from the days when heated political discussions yielded long voting queues and interesting debates over the credentials of potential lawmakers.
A lawsuit asking to delay Egypt’s upcoming parliamentary elections has left the country’s political forces taken aback amid a scramble to form alliances before the expected polls. The suit – filed by former independent MP and businessman Hamdy El-Fakharany with Cairo’s Administrative Justice Court – argues that the polls, scheduled for later this year, must be delayed for a year or even more. “This one year delay is necessary until security forces are strong enough to safeguard candidates and election campaigns against any possible terrorist attacks,” said El-Fakharany’s lawsuit, adding that “the group of the Muslim Brotherhood … could exploit the polls to attack its arch rivals – including the candidates of political secular forces, non-Islamist independents and even the ultraconservative Nour Party – with the objective of dragging the country into a Syrian-style civil war.” In an interview with a private television channel last week, El-Fakharany said that “the number of candidates in the coming parliamentary polls could surge to as high as 60,000 and in which case the Muslim Brotherhood could exploit election campaigns and tours to explode bombs, mount acts of terrorism and sabotage and kill its political opponents.”
Polling stations have finally closed their doors on the last day of Egypt’s 2014 presidential election. The cabinet will hold a meeting on Thursday to discuss the steps to follow the election. Several monitoring bodies will also be announcing their initial findings including the European Union’s commission, which said it will be holding a press conference on Thursday. Despite claims of low turnout, judicial sources told Al-Ahram’s Arabic news website that voter turnout by Wednesday – the third day of voting – had reached around 21 million – or about 40 percent of the country’s 54 million registered voters. The estimate puts the turnout higher than this January’s constitutional referendum, which saw around 20.6 million voters (38.6 percent), Judge Tarek Shebl, a member of the general secretariat of the Presidential Elections Commission (PEC), the judicial body supervising the poll, told Al-Ahram. Shebl believes turnout for the presidential election will surpass 40 percent.
Egyptians living abroad began Thursday to cast their ballots in a presidential poll that is expected to bring former army chief Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi to power. Egyptian embassies and consulates across 124 countries are expected to open Thursday for voting over 12 hours, from 9am local time, Egypt’s foreign ministry said. Polling locations in Paris, Austria’s Vienna, Sudan’s Khartoum and New Zealand’s Wellington opened their doors Thursday morning for expatriate Egyptians to vote in the four-day poll that will conclude 18 May, state news agency MENA has said. The presidential vote is scheduled to open at home 26-27 May and is highly tipped to be won by retired army chief and frontrunner chief El-Sisi. Only one other rival running for the country’s top post is leftist politician Hamdeen Sabahi, who came third in the 2012 election. The vote is the second milestone in a transitional roadmap set out by interim authorities following Mohamed Morsi’s ouster last July. The first was a January referendum on an amended constitution in which around only 107,000 expatriates cast their ballots out of over 600,000 eligible Egyptian voters in 161 countries.
Egypt: Presidential Election Commission announces presidential candidates, election details | Ahram Online
Hamdeen Sabahi and Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi are Egypt’s final contenders for the 2014 presidential race, the Presidential Election Commission’s (PEC) spokesman Abdel-Aziz Salman said in a press conference on Sunday. PEC – the judicial body supervising the polls – has examined the documents of both contenders and concluded that both candidates meet the eligibility requirements set by the commission, Salman said. Egypt’s elections will be held on 26 and 27 May. Salman also revealed further details of the presidential election process, including the election’s monitoring bodies and the voting process outside of Egypt. The commission has granted approval to six international organisations to monitor the elections and 79 domestic ones who met the requirements. A total of 116 Egyptian organisations applied for monitoring status.
As speculation about the expected presidential candidacy of popular Egyptian Defense Minister Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi continues to grow, the secretary-general of the Presidential Supreme Electoral Commission, Hamdan Fahmy, said the delays in the election process were due to “technical issues.” Egypt’s long-awaited presidential elections are set to take place later this year, with most analysts expecting the polls to be held in the summer. Egypt’s interim President Adly Mansour announced earlier this month that presidential elections would finish “before July 17.” Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat on Thursday, Fahmy said: “Technical issues have caused the delay in the announcement of the timetable for the presidential elections and the opening of the registration of candidates.”