2018 presidential election - photo combined by Egypt Today 2018 presidential election - photo combined by Egypt Today

Egypt Today’s daily wrap-up of 2018 presidential election

CAIRO – 29 January 2018: Today was a dramatic day, full of important events, in the 2018 presidential election. To wrap-up the day, Egypt Today presents the most prominent events that took place throughout the day, along with the perceived timeline for the election.

National Election Authority (NEA) closes candidacy of 2018 presidential election

President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi and Chairperson of El-Ghad Party Mousa Mostafa Mousa are the only announced potential candidates for the presidential election due in March.

An hour before the deadline of submitting the candidacy application to the National Election Authority (NEA) on Monday, Moussa’s lawyer submitted his application to stand for the presidential election, while President Sisi’s nomination application was submitted on Wednesday to run for a second term.

It is scheduled that the NEA will publish the final list of the candidates on Wednesday, as per the Authority's timeline, which is stated on January 8. About sixty million people are eligible to cast their ballots in the 2018 presidential election, which will start on March 26.
National Election Authority

SEVEN parties have backed Sisi in presidential race:

Al-Nour Salafist Party

The Salafit Al-Nour party has announced its support to President Sisi to run for a second term in the presidential election due in March, according to statements of the party’s chairperson, Younes Makhioun in a press conference on January 28.

"President Sisi is the only person who can provide stability and security for Egypt," Makhyoun said, calling on people to participate in the election due in March.

"Accordingly, the party’s supreme committee saw that incumbent president, Sisi, is the most capable of upholding such great responsibilities and can enhance cooperation amongst all state institutions: the police, the parliament, and the administrative bodies to achieve stability, and save the country from a multitude of dangers.

For this reason, Al-Nour party expresses its support for President Sisi for a second term, and urges all the party's members and all Egyptians to participate in the election as the party is motivated by a concern for building and construction, and to ward off negativity and despair. God save Egypt and its people,” the statement of Al-Nour read.

Al-Nour is the only legitimate political party that represents Salafists in Egypt; it was founded in June 2011 after the approval of the Political Parties' Committee. The party had 11 MPs at the House of Representatives in the 2015 elections and mostly calls on applying Islamic Sharia law in Egypt.

Younes Makhioun, Chairman of Nour Party

Al-Wafd Party

Al-Wafd announced its support to president Sisi on Saturday, following a long debate between the members of its supreme committee, rejecting the candidacy of its chairman, El Sayyid el-Badawi.

"Following prolonged discussions, the supreme committee renewed its previous decision to support President Sisi for a second term, considering the current circumstances and challenges that Egypt faces," Al Wafd announced in a statement released on January 27.

“During his first term, Sisi managed to save the Egyptian identity, security and stability,” the statement explained, calling on all Egyptians to express their will through ballots.

Al Wafd is a nationalist liberal party which was first established by the late Egyptian opponent leader Saad Zaghloul during World War I in November 1918, it was dissolved after the revolution in 1952 to be re-established in 1978. A total number of 46 MPs currently represent Al Wafd at the House of Representatives.

Al-Sayyid Al-Badawi, Chairman of Wafd Party

Al-Masryeen Al-Ahrar (Free Egyptians) party

On July 26, 2017, Al-Masryeen Al-Ahrar party held an event at the Pyramids area to announce their support to Sisi, explaining that he is the man that can lead the nation in such a critical period.

“In the memory of mandating President Sisi to counter the terrorism practiced by the most dangerous group in history, the Muslim Brotherhood, back in 2013, we declare that the president is our party’s choice in the upcoming presidential election, since we believe that Egyptians deserve the best future,” chairman of the party, Essam Khalil said during the event.

The party will hold a press conference to rebut the systematic campaign orchestrated by the international media who claim that the upcoming election is not fair, according to Khalil, who affirmed that the party will start mobilizing voters to back President Sisi.

Earlier this month, 60 MPs out of Al-Masryeen Al-Ahrar’s 65 MPs at the House of Representatives signed a petition to support Sisi for a second term.

The party, founded in April 2011, is calling for a democratic, free state that adopts the free market policy in economics and equality between all society’s spectrums.

Al-Mo’tamar (Congress) Party

Al-Mo’tamar political party was one of the first parties to back Sisi’s candidacy on August 22, 2017, encouraging him to carry on the developmental projects he began in his first term.

“The party is planning to hold public conventions in the upcoming period to raise the awareness of citizens on the electoral process and to promote Sisi’s candidacy,” chairman of Al-Mo’tamar, Omar Semeida told Egypt Today.

Al-Mo’tamar is a coalition of 25 secularist, leftist and liberal parties and movements, who merged in one party following the revolution of 2011, headed by former secretary-general of the Arab League, Amr Moussa. The party is represented by 12 MPs at the House of Representatives.

Mostakbal Watan Party

Mostakbal Watan (Nation's Future) Party

Since establishing Mostakbal Watan party in November 2014, it has been a supporter of President Sisi and all his decisions. Moreover, its 57 MPs joined the ‘To Build It’ campaign inside the parliament which aimed at collecting signatures to urge Sisi to run for a second term.

Last September, the young leader of the party, Ashraf Rashad announced the party’s complete support to Sisi to run for a second term.

The party has not specified its ideology, saying that the goal behind its establishment is to back the state’s institutions and the army.

Homat Al-Watan (Homeland Protectors) Party

The party declared its support to Sisi on May 6, 2017, before even announcing the elections’ timeline by the NEA.

Deputy chairman of the party, Mohamed Ghobashy told Egypt Today that Homat Al-Watan will issue a booklet that includes all the president’s achievements during his first term on February 17 in a public convention, in order to mobilize as many voters as possible for Sisi.

Homat Al-Watan is a party that calls for a civil state based on equality and liberty, founded on February 28, 2014. It has 18 MPs inside the House of Representatives.

Al-Tagammu’ Al-Watani Al-Taqadomi Al-Wahdawi (The National Progressive Unionist) Party

The leftist party declared on January 27 that it has decided to back Sisi in the 2018 presidential election. The party’s General Secretariat appealed to Egyptians in an official statement to elect President Sisi since he is the leader of the June 30 uprising that removed the Muslim Brotherhood regime from office.

“Sisi proved his patriotism and his solid will to face different challenges in Egypt, defeating corruption, leading economic development projects, and facing all western pressures and attempts to intervene in the Egyptian domestic issues,” Al-Tagammu’s statement read, however, it expressed the party’s reservation on the latest economic procedures that caused the prices’ hike, affecting the citizens’ living standard negatively.

The party, that includes Marxists and Nasserists, was established in 1977 by former free officer of the 1952 revolution, Khaled Mohieddin. It has two MPs inside the House of Representatives.

Moussa enters the presidential race

Mousa Mostafa Mousa, Chairman of Ghad Party

Chairperson of El-Ghad Party, Moussa Mostafa Moussa, is expected to submit the documents required for the presidential candidacy to the National Election Authority (NEA) on Monday, which marks the last day for candidates to submit their documents.

Moussa underwent on Sunday the medical examination needed to assess his physical and mental conditions; he is getting "ready" for the 2018 presidential bid against incumbent President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, according to Moussa's statements to Egypt Today on Monday.

Sources told Egypt Today earlier that Moussa received endorsements from 26 Members of Parliament- the majority of them represent Monufia Governorate- in order to announce his official presidential bid.

Moussa vowed that he will resume projects and achievements that Sisi has begun and carried out throughout his first term in office. "I was a sincere supporter to Sisi, but now Sisi has become my contender."

Moussa's dispute with Ayman Nour

Moussa, who studied architecture in France and heads the Egyptian Council for Arab Tribes, became the chairperson of El-Ghad Party in September, 2005, following fierce disputes with the party's founder Ayman Nour who founded El-Ghad Party in 2004 after the Parties' Affairs Commission had refused Nour's request to set up a political party three times.

In October, 2005, Moussa headed a meeting for Ghad's supreme commission, dismissed Nour from the party's chairmanship and declared himself the new president of Ghad Party. One month earlier, Nour announced the removal of Moussa from his post as a deputy chairperson.

In November, 2008, the dispute between Moussa and Nour reached its peak and both leaders' supporters engaged in violent clashes that resulted in setting the party's headquarters on fire. Nour's wife, prominent anchorwoman Gamila Ismail, accused Moussa's supporters of deliberately burning the party's building.

In May, 2011, the conflict between Moussa and Nour ended with recognizing Moussa as the legitimate chairman of Ghad Party, according to a decision made by the Parties' Affairs Commission.

Ayman Nour

"Few months after Ayman Nour and I founded Ghad Party, Nour decided to run for the presidential election in 2005. He should have frozen his partisan membership, but he manipulated and refused to freeze it," Moussa told Egypt Today on Monday, adding that Ghad's leaders discovered that Nour was involved in a suspicious financial deal to fund his presidential electoral campaign.

Moussa's political stances

In September, 2012, Moussa announced merging Ghad party with 24 other parties under the umbrella of a new party called the Egyptian Congress party.

"I will never cooperate with the bloody-handed Muslim Brotherhood group," Moussa added to Egypt Today. "The MB is a malicious group whose moves are always against the interests of Egypt."

Following the January revolution that overthrew former President Hosni Mubarak and forced him to step down on February 11, political forces held several national dialogue sessions.

On May 11, 2011, Moussa was pulled out from one of the national dialogue sessions. Some young participants opposed the presence of former members of the dissolved National Democratic party, ‎chanting “We do not want the [National Democratic] party, even if we will be shot ‎with ‎‎bullets for saying so.” As a result, Moussa, controversial lawyer Mortada Mansour and ‎veteran TV presenter Mofid Fawzi were forced to leave the session.

Moussa Mostafa Moussa and supporters speak about his run in the 2018 elections

“I am not a background actor in the 2018 presidential election and no one moves me,” Moussa Mostafa Moussa, chairperson of El-Ghad Party and last-minute presidential candidate, said in an interview with Egypt Today on Monday.

Moussa denies he is running as a "phony" competitor in the presidential election, affirming he has not taken instructions from any governmental institution to join the race.

Moussa submitted the documents required for his candidacy to the National Election Authority (NEA) on Monday, which marks the last day for candidates to submit their documents.

Supporters of Moussa’s nomination for president

When asked about their previous support of El-Ghad Party to Sisi, Moussa answered, “During the previous stage, in which we supported Sisi, we were not rivals and we played a role to help him complete the construction process. But the situation now becomes completely different, as we decided to participate in the presidential election. We see the citizens’ sufferings of economic conditions. We have a vision that we can be achieved by being part of the system.”

Moussa also said that the Egyptian Council for Arab Tribes, which includes more than 40 million citizens, and the General Union for Farmers supported his candidacy.

Vision to tackle current challenges and external affairs

“We cannot live in isolated islands far from the world. There are global economic blocs that affect the global situation. Egypt doesn’t have self-sufficiency of food and we still import wheat from abroad, and this means that we still depend on the outside countries in our financial aid. We must change our foreign policy,” Moussa said.

View of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD)

Moussa stated, “In fact, addressing the issue of GERD needs a political solution. All countries have the right of development, and Ethiopia is seeking to build this dam in order to generate electricity and export it abroad. We agree on Ethiopia’s development plan, but we reject attempts to harm our water quota, which is a national security issue.”

Muslim Brotherhood states if Moussa wins presidential elections

Moussa asserted that he will not deal with those whose hands are “contaminated with blood,” adding that there would be “no understanding or sympathy with them. They are a malicious group and launch moves against Egypt, their homeland, from Europe, America and other Western countries.” Still, he asserted that the religious families have all respect.

Opinion of withdrawn presidential candidates

“I think they seek deliberately embarrassing Egypt in front of the world, and I wish there were five candidates, for the presidency to be a strong competition,” Moussa said.

Commenting about the nomination of Sayed Al-Badawi, chairperson of Al-Wafd Party, he said that Badawi didn’t have good relations with the Al-Wafd supreme committee and so the committee supported Sisi instead of him.

President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi’s nomination for a second term in the presidency was pushed forward by the massive support of the Egyptian people, said spokesperson of Sisi’s election campaign Mohamed Bahaa el-Din Abuo Shoka in a press conference on Monday.

In the first press conference of Sisi’s campaign, Abou Shoka also talked in detail about the legal significance of the endorsement forms that were signed by the public to endorse Sisi.

“The citizens who conducted the endorsement form should go himself to the election campaign headquarters to handed it the electioneerers,” he said, adding that a total of 915,000 endorsement forms have been submitted to the campaigners so far.

Those who are 18 years old or above have the right to sign the endorsement forms as the Egyptian Code stipulates, said Abou Shoka in the press conference. He added that minors who endorsed Sisi for second term will not be taken into account, however he gave them gratitude for their participation and support.

He continued that the election campaigning will start immediately after announcing the final list of the candidates.

Expected schedule for the electoral process

January 31: A press release will be held by the NEA to announce the candidates running in the 2018 presidential election

February 1, 2: On those two days the NEA will accept the objections of candidates on other candidates in the race

February 5: Examination of applications for candidacy and objections

February 6: Inform any candidates who have been dismissed from the race of the dismissal decision and the reasons behind it

February 8, 9: Receive the appeals of dismissed candidates

February 22: Candidates choose the symbols for the race

February 24: NEA to announce the final symbols for candidates in the race

February 24 to March 23: Presidential campaigns will run

March 1: Last day to withdraw from the presidential race

March 14, 15: Presidential campaigns will stop abroad

March 16, 17, 18: Expats vote

March 24, 25: Presidential campaigns will stop in Egypt

March 26, 27, 28: Egyptians living at home vote

March 29: Vote counting is expected to be done

April 2: The results of the first round will be announced

April 15 to April 23: Presidential campaigns will run for the second round

April 18: Presidential campaigns will stop abroad

April 19, 20, 21: Expats vote

April 23: Presidential campaigns will stop in Egypt

April 24, 25, 26: Egyptians living at home vote

April 27: Vote counting is expected to be done

April 28: Please accepted

April 29, 30: Examination of please

May 1: Announcement of the final 2018 presidential election results
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