Parties aim to amass 30M in 2018 presidential election

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Tue, 20 Feb 2018 - 01:00 GMT

Egyptians cast their votes during parliamentary elections at a voting center in Giza governorate, Egypt, October 18, 2015. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

Egyptians cast their votes during parliamentary elections at a voting center in Giza governorate, Egypt, October 18, 2015. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

CAIRO – 20 February 2018: While the Egyptian presidential election is approaching, many conspiracies have been plotted to corrupt the Egyptian political scene in front of the entire world. Recently, some opposition elements have called for a boycott of the upcoming presidential election due to take place March 26-28.

On the other side, Egyptian political parties have confronted these malicious boycott calls, which only aim to defame the political image of the Egyptian state under the current leadership.

Essam Khalil, Free Egyptians Party chairman, told Egypt Today on Monday that his party has followed the door knocking policy to encourage Egyptians to participate in the presidential election. “The door knocking campaign does not support a particular candidate in the presidential election, but it’s a call to take part in this important event,” Khalil added.

The door knocking campaign is expected to remain until February 24, which represents the last day of the presidential campaigns, as set by the National Election Authority (NEA). Some foreign media outlets abroad have fabricated reports about “scripts” to push incumbent President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi out of the Egyptian political scene so that Egypt can be easily torn apart and ruined, according to Khalil.

Khalil indicated that his party has printed pamphlets about Sisi’s achievements, adding, “All members of the Free Egyptians Party have been assigned to enlighten ordinary citizens of Sisi’s successes.”

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He denied being an arm of Sisi’s official campaign, but the party is welcoming it for more coordination. He asserted that MP Tarek Radwan will pay regional visits to Jordan, the UAE and Saudi Arabia as part of the party’s campaigning efforts. “Canada tops our destinations,” said Khalil.

“The participation of 30 million voters is our target, which we are going to achieve to defeat the outlawed Brotherhood’s plots that seek to discourage voters from electoral participation,” Khalil asserted.

In response to rumors circulated abroad that the result of the upcoming presidential election is already determined with Sisi winning, the Free Egyptians Party has sought to encourage more than 30 million voters to take part in the election and express their opinion, according to Khalil.

“Sisi is the only person capable of continuing achievements and successes that have been fulfilled in the last four years,” Khalil asserted.

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Khalil accused former potential presidential candidate Khaled Ali of seeking a media show, adding, “Khaled Ali entered the presidential race just to withdraw from it...Former potential candidate and former chief of staff Sami Anan’s candidacy for the presidential election seemed so weird too.”

Khalil claimed that the parliamentarian 25-30 coalition has done its best to play an opposition role under the dome of the House of Representatives in the last three years, but it failed to convince the public of that role. “Why did the 25-30 coalition not support Khaled Ali as a presidential candidate?” he wondered.

Egypt has witnessed an “exceptional era, which needs an exceptional man to lead” the country and close the door before failures, Khalil said.

He promised that the Free Egyptians Party will prepare young cadres to be successful statesmen. “I blame the Wafd Party for not leading the political scene post-2011 revolution,” added Khalil.

Khalil denied his intention to meet with potential candidate Moussa Mostafa Moussa; however, he defended his candidacy, which has enriched the political life.

“The Free Egyptians Party will never change its stance, as backing Sisi for a second presidential term is unquestionable. If Sisi asks for another popular authorization, we will definitely do so,” Khalil added.

He defended Sisi’s vision in leading the country, saying that “Sisi is not required to show a platform, because he is used to revealing achievements after they are completed.”

Khalil demonstrated that, financially, Egypt needs loans for building infrastructure and to ease pressure on hard currencies, stating, “Sugar, meat and other commodities’ prices have already decreased.”

“The Free Egyptian Party has prepared a report about human rights violations committed by Qatar and Turkey, and this report is backed by documents from the United Nations,” Khalil mentioned.

On July 26, 2017, the Free Egyptians Party held an event at the Pyramids area to announce their support for Sisi, explaining that he is the man that can lead the nation in such a critical period.

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“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,” Khalil said during the event.

The chairmen of a number of political parties held an emergency meeting on February 11 in the headquarters of the Wafd Party to discuss plans to amass people to participate in the upcoming presidential election amid calls for a boycott.

The meeting was attended by El-Sayed el-Badawi, chairman of the liberal Wafd Party; Ashraf Rashad, chairman of the Nation's Future Party; Akmal Kortam, head of the Conservative Party; Ahmed Khalil Khairallah, head of Al-Nour Party's parliamentary bloc; and other representatives of Egyptian political parties.

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"There is a plot set by foreign parties to affect the independency of the country through pushing people not to participate in the upcoming presidential election, impacting Egypt's national independence. However, the Egyptian citizen is fully aware of the current challenges and will confront them strongly," Badawi stated.

He said that the Egyptian parties are currently working on a plan to mobilize citizens to participate in the presidential election.

Rashad, chairman of the Nation's Future Party, said to Egypt Today that all parties agreed to establish a forum including all Egyptian political parties in the upcoming period.

The heads of the political parties set a plan to amass the citizens through holding a series of conferences in the governorates, calling on people to participate and vote in the election.

The parties will also issue a statement supporting the Egyptian army in their fight against terrorism in the "Comprehensive Operation Sinai 2018".

Incumbent President Sisi and President of Al-Ghad Party Moussa Mostafa Moussa are the only two candidates who were found eligible by the authority to campaign in the election.

The Wafd Party announced its support for President Sisi, following a long debate between the members of its supreme committee, rejecting the candidacy of its chairman, 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," Wafd announced in a statement released on January 27.

Voting in the 2018 presidential election in Egypt will commence on March 26, as announced by the National Electoral Authority (NEA) on January 8. Sixty million eligible voters will cast their ballots in the election between March 26 and 28 in Egypt, while expatriates will vote between March 16 and 18.

Sisi officially announced his candidacy in the 2018 presidential election on January 19.

Sisi took office in 2014 after protesters toppled Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated ex-President Mohamed Morsy.

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