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How Egyptians will vote for their president

EGYPT will hold a presidential election on December 10-12 in which former army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is poised to secure a third term that will extend his rule into a second decade.

Public attention has shifted from an economic crisis to the war in Gaza during the run-up to the polls.

Here are some facts about the vote.

VOTING

The vote in Egypt will take place from December 10-12. Voting for Egyptians abroad was held on December 1-3.

Results are due to be announced on December 18, with an absolute majority required to avoid a second round in early January.

Sisi was announced the winner of the previous two presidential elections in 2014 and 2018 with 97% of the votes.

Approximately 67 million Egyptians above the age of 18 are eligible to vote, according to the election authority, out of a total population of 104 million.

People barred from voting include those under guardianship due to mental illness, those convicted of crimes including tax evasion and corruption of political life, and convicts who have served a prison sentence.

CANDIDATES

The candidates running in the election are Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, president since 2014; Farid Zahran, head of the centre-left Egyptian Social Democratic party; Abdel Sanad Yamama, head of the liberal Al Wafd party; and Hazem Omar, head of the Republican People’s Party.

The most prominent potential opposition candidate, Ahmed al-Tantawy, withdrew in October, complaining that dozens of his supporters had been arrested and that officials and pro-government thugs had hampered his campaign.

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Egypt’s National Election Authority (NEA) has said it was reviewing Tantawy’s complaints, and that such allegations were baseless.

OVERSIGHT

The NEA is responsible for overseeing and managing all elections and referendums in Egypt.

The election will be held under the supervision of judges and accredited local and foreign civil society organizations will be allowed to observe voting, according to the NEA.

PRESIDENTIAL TERM

Following constitutional amendments in 2019, the presidential term was extended to six from four years.

The amendments changed an outright bar on any president serving more than two terms to a bar on serving more than two consecutive terms.

An additional clause extended Sisi’s second term to six years from four, and allowed him to run for a third term under the new rules.

Sisi is the fourth former military man to establish his grip over Egypt since Gamal Abdel Nasser and other army officers toppled the monarchy in 1952.

Nasser became president in 1954 and was succeeded on his death in 1970 by Anwar Sadat, who ruled until he was assassinated in 1981. Sadat’s deputy, Hosni Mubarak, held power from 1981 until he was ousted in a popular uprising nearly three decades later.

Under Sadat, a two-term limit was imposed and then removed.

By The African Mirror

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