CAIRO – 16 March 2018: Egyptian voters overseas started casting their ballots on Thursday to choose between two candidates; President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi and Al-Ghad Party chairperson Moussa Mostafa Moussa.
Other candidates announced their withdrawal from the presidential race including lawyer Khaled Ali, former Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Shafik and former Military Chief of Staff Sami Anan who was basically removed from the voters’ database.
As part of Egypt Today’s coverage of the Egyptian presidential election, we present a profile of the two contenders.
Abdel Fattah Al Sisi
President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi
Current President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi seeks a second term in office to continue his achievements made during his four-year term.
Sisi became president after winning the 2014 presidential elections, a few months after he resigned from the country’s armed forces.
Sisi used to be Egypt’s minister of defense and commander of the Egyptian armed forces, under former president Mohamed Morsi who was toppled in July 2013 following mass public protests.
Born on November 19, 1954, Sisi grew up in Gamaleya neighborhood, near the Al-Azhar Mosque, in a quarter where Muslims, Jews and Christians resided peacefully.
Sisi graduated from the Egyptian Military Academy in 1977, and then received his commission as a military officer serving in the mechanized infantry, specializing in anti-tank warfare and mortar warfare. He became Commander of the Northern Military Region-Alexandria in 2008 and then Director of Military Intelligence and Reconnaissance. Sisi was the youngest member of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces of Egypt.
He was also trained at the Joint Services Command and Staff College at Watchfield, Oxfordshire, in the United Kingdom, and the United States Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Sisi was appointed minister of defense in August 2012.
Sisi’s first term in office has been defined by the fight against terrorism, ambitious infrastructure projects like the new Suez Canal and the new Administrative Capital and a wide economic development strategy which was launched in 2016.
President Sisi has showed his intention to run for president during his 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 the projects and achievements made in different fields during the last four years.
On his official Twitter account, Sisi called on the Egyptian people to participate intensively in the upcoming election and give their votes to whomever they see most eligible.
Sisi is married to the first lady Entissar Amer and has four children; three sons and a daughter.
Moussa Moustafa Moussa
Chairperson of Al Ghad Party Moussa Mostafa Moussa
Moussa Moustafa Moussa is a professional architect, who ventured into politics at an early age as a member of the Wafd party.
Moussa who heads the Egyptian Council for Arab Tribes, became the chairperson of Al-Ghad Party in September 2005, following fierce disputes with the party’s founder Ayman Nour.
Moussa seeks to succeed President Sisi, however he praised the progress and achievements made by Sisi over the last years.
An hour before the deadline of submitting the candidacy application to the National Election Authority (NEA) on January 29, Moussa’s lawyer submitted his application to stand for the presidential election scheduled to be held by the end of March.
Moussa received endorsements from 20 Members of Parliament- the majority of them represent Monufia Governorate- required to run the election.
Moussa’s bid came a few days after President Sisi submitted his candidacy papers to the NEA to run for a second term.
Born on 13 July, 1952, Moussa earned a master’s degree in Architecture from École Nationale Supérieure d’architecture de Versailles in France. Moussa is married and has two daughters.
Election abroad kicks off
Egyptian expatriates began lining up at 10pm at polling stations in New Zealand to cast ballots – Photo compiled by Egypt Today/Mohamed Zain
Egyptian expatriates began lining up at polling stations in New Zealand and Australia to cast ballots scheduled for three days in the 2018 presidential election.
Consulates and embassies across the world are to officially open their doors Friday at 9am local time in each country.
The Egyptian embassy in New Zealand was the first to open to the electorate, given an 11 hour time difference with Cairo.
China, Japan, Russia and Indonesia would follow shortly throughout the night.
Due to political unrest and a worsening security situation, the elections would not take place in three countries: Yemen, Syria and Libya.
Egyptians at home are due on March 26-28 to cast their ballots in the country's 27 governorates.
Egyptian Foreign Minister's Deputy Hamdi Loza said previously that all foreign missions have been provided with electronic scanners so voters’ ID cards and passports can be quickly scanned, noting that the whole expatriate voting process will be monitored by surveillance cameras linked with an operations room at the foreign ministry.
He added that the foreign ministry held training courses for committees that will supervise voting abroad under the supervision of the National Elections Authority (NEA), as well as other procedures aimed at facilitating the highest turnout from expats.
Loza called on Egyptians abroad to participate in the presidential elections, which will begin on March 16 and last for three days.
In 2017 the government estimated the number of Egyptians living abroad at 9.4 million.
The National Election Authority (NEA), headed by counselor Lashin Ibrahim, announced on February 24 the final list for Egypt’s upcoming presidential election including President Sisi and Moussa Moustafa Moussa, Head of al-Ghad Party.
Sixty million eligible voters will cast their ballots in the election on March 26-28 in Egypt, while expatriates will vote on March 16-18 at 139 polling stations located in embassies and consulates of 124 countries, said Ibrahim in a press conference.
The primary results of the first round of the election will be announced on March 29, where decisions on appeals submitted by candidates, if any, will be made.
The final results of the first round will be announced on April 2.
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