FILE – Egypt Today’s wrap-up of the 2018 Egyptian presidential election
CAIRO – 25 January 2018: After a fructuous couple of days of presidential election-related news, Egypt Today provides readers with a wrap-up, bringing them up to speed on where we stand as of now.
Sami Anan’s Arrest
The hot topic on the streets today was still former Chief of Staff Sami Anan’s arrest on Tuesday. Anan was arrested following public controversy caused by his announcement to run in the 2018 presidential election without obtaining the required permit from the Egyptian Armed Forces (EAF).
The permit would have registered the termination of his service in the military and granted Anan equal rights to all civilians, meaning that he would have enjoyed full political rights, including the right to run for president. In case you are compelled, you can read Anan's statement announcing that he will be running for presidency
According to a recent statement by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), Anan does not have a military permission terminating his service at the Armed Forces. Consequently, the former Chief of Staff is currently held over charges of forging official documents with the purpose of unlawfully being included in the electoral database.
Sami Anan during the funeral of his sister-in-law in June 2014- Egypt Today/Hussein Tallal
Today, Egypt’s National Election Authority (NEA) has stated the legal grounds upon which it removed Anan from the voters’ database over charges of “forgery” to run in the 2018 presidential election.
Removing Anan, who is still under the military call-up service, came in accordance with the principles of the constitution, the NEA said in a statement on Thursday. “Deleting his name from the voters’ database is a rectification of a mistake made by the administrative body to register his name in the voters’ database.” The statement also read, “excluding lieutenant general on call Sami Hafez Anan was based on official documents received by the NEA confirming that he is still an officer in the Armed Forces, has the military status and is subject to all relevant laws.” Therefore, the decision for his removal also came as a result of him not obtaining the required document from the EAF.
Lawyer Khaled Ali during a press conference on January 11, 2018 - Egypt Today/ Hussein Tallal
Khaled Ali’s withdrawal
The second most talked about topic today was Khaled Ali withdrawing his bid for the presidential election. On January 24, after a long couple of days of meetings, the human rights lawyer held a press conference to declare the reversal of his decision to run for president.
This decision came as a direct result of the latest developments in Egypt’s political scene, as well as the decline in his popularity after photos of him doing obscene signs in front of the Council of the State circulated on social media, newspapers and TV channels.
“Today, we announce our decision not to enter this race, and we will not present our candidacy papers,” Ali declared during the conference. To read the original Egypt Today coverage on Khaled Ali's candidacy, follow this
Ali is the second potential candidate who decided to retreat from the presidential bid. On January 7, 2018, former Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Shafik announced that he will not run for president, “by observing the reality, I have seen that I will not be the ideal person to lead the nation in the upcoming period; thus, I have decided not to run for president in the presidential election in 2018.”
President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi files candidacy papers and announces name of the General Coordinator for his presidential campaign:
President Abel Fatah al-Sisi submitted on January 24 his candidacy file to the National Election Authority (NEA), including his medical check-up results, tens of thousands of endorsement forms and over 500 recommendations from the 596-Member House of Representatives, according to the NEA.
A man carries boxes of President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi's endorsement forms into the National Election Authority, Jan. 24, 2018 - Ashraf Fawzy
Mohamed Abu Sha'a, Sisi's attorney, officially handed the file over to the NEA, one day after Sisi was reported to have conducted the prerequisite medical check-up.
A total of 850,000 endorsement forms have been signed by citizens for potential candidates, NEA announced in a Monday press release without giving a breakdown of the signatures.
January 24 also saw another development, namely Sisi announcing the new General Coordinator for his presidential campaign. Sisi announced Ambassador Mahmoud Karem as the general coordinator of his presidential campaign and Mohamed Bahaa el-Din Abu Shoka as his legal representative and his presidential campaign’s spokesperson.
FILE - President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi
In statements to Egypt Today, Karem stated that he is honoured to be chosen by President al-Sisi to coordinate the campaign. Karem also expressed his gratitude to the president for choosing him twice for that position.
Commenting on the importance of transparency and integrity in running campaigns, Karem pointed out that the previous presidential election in 2014 was led with transparency and abided by the measures put by Sisi, committing to the constitution and law.
He added that the upcoming presidential election will follow the same approach of the 2014 election, stressing that power has not changed the president, but to the contrary, he has become more committed to these principles.
Karem asserted that the campaign holds certificates from more than 13 international organizations, which have acknowledged the transparency and the safety of the measures taken during the election; these organizations include the European Union, European Parliament and African Union.
National Election Authority assesses 21 NGOs to observe presidential poll
So far, 48 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have applied to the National Elections Authority (NEA) to observe the presidential poll, four of which are international organizations, said NEA spokesperson Mahmoud Helmy.
Twenty-one of the 48 have had their paperwork checked, all of which have met the conditions set out by the NEA. The remaining NGOs are expected to be checked within the next few days.
Egyptian national residing in Lebanon casts his vote in his country's presidential elections at a polling station at the Egyptian embassy in Beirut on May 15, 2014 – AFP
One of the most prominent organizations that has applied to observe the polling stations is the League of Arab States (LAS), which announced on January 20 that it is ready to observe the 2018 Egyptian election’s polling stations.
In their statement on January 20, the Arab League said that this participation comes within the framework of its concern to follow-up the process of the presidential election, which comes as an important step in enhancing the march of democracy in Egypt, pointing out that the League has already participated in following up the presidential election of 2014.
The National Election Authority conference announces the 2018 presidential election timeline - Egypt Today/Amr Moustafa Amr Adeeb reveals what should happen, as per constitution, if there is only one presidential candidate
Egyptian TV presenter Amr Adeeb revealed during his talk show “Kol Yom” (Everyday) on January 23 how to deal with the presidential election if President al-Sisi is the only candidate.
Adeeb explained that Article 36 of the Egyptian presidential election law indicates that the only candidate in the presidential election must receive support from 5 percent of the voters whose names are registered in the voter database. Accordingly, about 2.9 million need to vote for current President al-Sisi, or any other lone-candidate, in order for them to become president.
Potential new candidate from the Wafd Party leaves everyone on their toes
Sources told Egypt Today exclusively on Thursday that Al Wafd Party, one of Egypt’s most historical political parties, is likely to announce soon its own candidate for the upcoming presidential election.
Sources revealed to Egypt Today that the party is considering one of three potential candidates from its most prominent leaders, namely Wafd leader El-Sayyid el-Badawi, Hani Sarie el-din and MP Mohamed Fouad.
FILE - Al Wafd Party Logo
One of those three political leaders will be Al Wafd’s potential candidate for presidency. Further details about the choosing process and the party’s final stance toward the election are expected to be revealed soon in an official statement.
Al Wafd Party used to be one of Egypt’s most influential political parties for a period of time, especially from the end of the First World War through the 1930s. Most of the party’s leaders used to be very effective members in the Egyptian society including former Prime Minister Saad Zaghloul who led the revolution of 1919 against the British colonization of Egypt.
Reminder of voting rights in Egypt
The number of citizens eligible to vote in the 2018 presidential election in March currently stands at 58 million citizens; names can still be excluded or added as per legal guidelines. This is an overview of the election process.
Database of eligible voters
The database is set depending on three sources. First, the Civil Affairs Authority (CAA) affiliated with the Ministry of Interior as it possesses records of all citizens above the age of 18. Second, the Public Prosecution which makes lists of citizens denied of political rights. Third, the Ministry of Interior’s Passports, Emigration, and Nationality Administration (PENA) is responsible for complying lists of those who acquired the nationality more than five years ago.
Voting Rights Law in Egypt
Article 1: Any Egyptian citizen who is over the age of 18 has the following political rights:
First: Voting in any referendum stated in the constitution.
Second: Electing the President of the Arab Republic of Egypt,
Members of the House of Representatives, and Members of Municipal
All officers and personnel in the armed forces and the police are
EXEMPTED from voting in any elections or referenda while still in
Article 2: Conditions that temporarily deny citizens voting rights are as follows:
1) Citizens under guardianship for mental illness.
2) Patients in mental healthcare institutions in accordance with Law 71/2009.
1) Convicts of tax evasion.
2) Convicts of corruption of political life.
3) Citizens whose properties and savings have been confiscated by a court ruling.
4) Former civil and public sector employees who were dismissed for committing a criminal offence.
5) Convicts of fraud or default.
6) Convicts of any crime.
7) Citizens who served prison sentences.
The Ministry of Interior will be securing all polling locations and providing wheelchairs to assist senior citizens and the disabled.
The National Electoral Commission (NEC) announced on January 8, the 2018 presidential election’s timetable. Potential candidates are allowed to submit their applications between January 20 and 29. The final list of the candidates will be announced on February 24.
Voting will take place for three days starting March 26 domestically, while it will begin on March 16 for expats from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. in each country’s local time. The winning candidate will be announced on April 2.
According to Article 140 of the Egyptian constitution, electoral procedures should begin a minimum of 120 days before the end of the current presidential term and the president-elect should be announced a minimum of 30 days before the end of the previous president’s term. The current presidential term will end in June 2018.
Electoral procedures consist of receiving and scrutinizing applications and appeals, as well as setting the electoral lists and campaign regulations.
The National Elections Authority is an independent institution running all types of elections and referenda in the country, currently chaired by Chancellor Lashin Ibrahim Mohamed, who also serves as vice-president of the Court of Cassation.
Egypt’s National Electoral Commission launched an official website for both the parliamentary and presidential elections. The new website aims to publish all the resolutions and recommendations pertaining to the elections, in addition to the voting guides for Egyptians inside and outside Egypt.
President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi is the sixth president of Egypt. He came to office in June 2014 after the revolution of June 30, which toppled former President Mohamed Morsi, who is affiliated with the now-outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.