Egypt sets presidential vote for March

Al Sissi has not yet said he will seek second term in office, but he is expected to run and win

Cairo: Egypt will hold its presidential election for three days starting from March 26, the chairman of country’s election commission said on Monday.

Egyptians working abroad will begin voting on March 16 for three days too, the election commission added.

The official result of the election will be announced on April 2, according to the election commission.

In case of a run-off, the voting will be held outside Egypt on April 19, 20 and 21 and in the country on April 24,25 and 26.

The winner will be announced on May 1.

The head of the electoral commission, Lasheen Ebrahim, said election will be fully supervised by judges.

“We pledge to hold the elections with absolute integrity,” Ebrahim told a press conference.

The commission has given presidential hopefuls nine days to apply for contesting the election, starting from January 20.

President Abdul Fattah Al Sissi has not yet formally announced that he will seek a second term in office, but he is widely speculated to run in the elections and win comfortably.

Al Sissi, an ex-defence minister, has been ruling Egypt since mid-2014 after sweeping a two-contender election.

He is unlikely to face tough challengers in the upcoming elections.

Opposition lawyer Khalid Ali has announced a bid to run for president. But Ali’s bid is under threat as he was sentenced in September to three months in prison on charges of public indecency. He has appealed the sentence, claiming the case is politically motivated. If he is finally convicted, he could be disqualified from the presidential race.

On Sunday, former prime minister Ahmad Shafiq renounced a plan to stand for president, more than a month after he announced the bid while he was staying in the UAE.

Both Shafiq and Ali unsuccessfully contested Egypt’s 2012 presidential elections, which was won by Mohammad Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood. In 2013, the army, then led by Al Sissi, ousted Mursi following enormous street protests against his rule.


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