Exclusive: Absence of candidates is parties' responsibility - Sisi's campaign spox



Mon, 29 Jan 2018 - 01:20 GMT


Mon, 29 Jan 2018 - 01:20 GMT

A man hold a paper of "To build it" campaign to support President Sisi for another term- Egypt Today / Hassan Mohamed

A man hold a paper of "To build it" campaign to support President Sisi for another term- Egypt Today / Hassan Mohamed

CAIRO – 29 January 2018: A few hours before holding the first conference of President Abdel Fatah Sisi's presidential campaign, Mohamed Bahaa el-Din Abu Shoka talked to Egypt Today, revealing the campaign's plan that is expected to be followed during the presidential bid.

Abu Shoka, who was chosen by Sisi to be the official campaigns' spokesperson, blamed the political parties for neither preparing appropriate candidates nor supporting young cadres who should be influential politicians in the future.

"Political parties have to change their strategies and attract young cadres so that they can be ready to compete in various elections such as presidential, parliament and municipal council elections," Abu Shoka added to Egypt Today.

Abu Shoka is a Cairo-based lawyer at Abu Shoka Law Firm which specializes in crime, white-collar crime, anti-corruption and corporate governance law.

"The parties did not get ready for the upcoming election, so they could not propose any powerful candidate." Abu Shoka added, holding the political parties accountable for not proposing candidates.

"I wish there is more than one candidate because only people can make the final decision," Abu Shoka reiterated. "The upcoming election is not deemed a referendum, but some parties do not want to take part in this bid."

For the proposed plan of Sisi's electoral campaign, Abu Shoka manifested that the campaign will highlight the successful projects that Sisi has accomplished during his first term in office.

"I'm sure that the upcoming presidential election will witness a big turnout because Egyptians are fully aware of the challenges that Egypt has been facing," Abu Shoka pointed out, affirming that Sisi has been supporting the youth via holding conferences to listen to their suggestions and questions.

Abu Shoka added that the campaign will urge people to take part in the election, stressing that "Postponement of the upcoming election is not an option."

"According to Egypt's constitution drafted in 2014, the presidential election must begin 120 days before the end of the ongoing president's term. As a result, merely talking about postponement violates the constitutional rules," Abu Shoka revealed.

FILE - Official spokesperson of President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi's electoral campaign Mohamed Bahaa el-Din Abu Shoka

President Sisi declared last week that Ambassador Mahmoud Karem will be the general coordinator for his presidential campaign and that Mohamed Bahaa el-Din Abu Shoka will be his legal representative and his presidential campaign’s spokesperson.

This was declared by President Sisi during the closing session of the “Tale of Homeland” conference, according to his official Facebook page.

Abu Shoka presented to the National Election Authority (NEA) Sisi's presidential candidacy papers on Wednesday, including public endorsements from citizens and from parliament members.

On January 26, Sisi announced his candidacy for a second term in the 2018 presidential election.

The announcement came during Sisi’s closing speech at the end of the three-day “Tale of a Homeland” conference, where the president and the Egyptian government presented an overview of projects and achievements made in different fields during the last four years.

Sisi also showed his intention to run for president on his official Twitter account, calling on the Egyptian people to participate intensively in the upcoming election and give their votes to whomever they see most eligible.

The presidential election was set to take place on March 26-28, with a possible run-off scheduled for April 24-26. If no run-offs are necessary, the winner will be announced on April 2.

The final list of the candidates will be announced on February 24; the deadline for any candidate to retreat will be on March 1. The primary results of the first round of the election will be announced on March 29, when decisions on appeals submitted by candidates, if any, will be made.

If no candidate obtains the majority of votes, a three-day run-off round will commence in Egypt on April 24, and on April 19 abroad. The name of the winning candidate is set to be announced on May 1.



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