CAIRO – 29 March 2018: The presidential election in Egypt took place between March 26 and 28. There were only two candidates, incumbent President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi and head of El Ghad Party Moussa Moustafa Moussa.
As part of our coverage of the election process, Egypt Today presents preliminary results of each governorate:
Official figures showed that 814,135 voted in the election out of 1,741,507 registered voters, with a turnout of 46.78%, with Sisi advancing with 727,895 votes, while Moussa received 26,681 votes. Beni Suef has 514 sub-polling stations and nine main polling stations.
There are 59.78m eligible voters in Egypt distributed over 13,706 sub-polling stations.
With the election looming, Sisi publicly called for record voter participation in an effort to boost the election's legitimacy. Turnout was moderate with relatively long queues outside polling stations, most of them the elderly and women. Several officials and members of Parliament (MPs) said that Egyptians who did not vote would be fined LE 500. Media outlets released several photos of women standing in lines waiting to cast their ballots. Other pictures and videos showed them dancing in front of polling stations and raising the Egyptian flag, along with pictures of President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi.
Media figures, officials and actors have all called on Egyptians to partake in the election, calling it a national duty. Many of them went on to highlight that even if people disagree with the country’s current situation, they should look beyond their personal grievances for the country’s best interest.
Candidates were able to apply for nomination to the presidency between January 20 and 29, 2018. The final list of candidates approved by the National Election Authority (NEA) was announced on February 24. Candidates were allowed to spend a maximum of LE20 million for campaigning and to accept campaign donations of up to two percent of the total allowed campaign expenditures. Law No. 45 of 2014 constrains the content of campaigns, including prohibitions on the use of religious slogans, calls for discrimination or threats to national unity.
Egyptians who are above the age of 18 have the right to vote. Eligible voters for this year’s presidential election are 59 million. Active members of the Armed Forces and police are not allowed to vote. Article 2 of the political rights law (Law 45/2014) bans from voting those who suffer from mental disorders or are under judicial interdiction, or who have been convicted of a felony.
The first round of voting was held for Egyptians abroad on March 16-18. Voting inside Egypt was conducted for three days on March 26-28. Polls were opened over a twelve-hour period, from 9am till 9pm (local time), except the last day as the voting was extended to 10pm.
According to the NEA, 59 million Egyptians out of a population of 104 million (including those abroad and in the country's 27 governorates) are eligible to vote.
The preliminary results of the first round of the election was scheduled 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. If there is a need to hold a run-off round, Egyptian expats will cast their votes again on April 19-21. Those in Egypt will cast their votes on April 24-26. The final 2018 presidential election result is expected to be announced on May 1.
According to the NEA, the presidential election was supervised by 18,620 judges (primary and substitute), including 8,420 regular judges, 4,800 administrative prosecutors, 3,300 judges from the State Lawsuits Authority and 2,100 judges from the State Council.
Deputy Foreign Minister Hamdy Sanad Loza said on Thursday that five regional and international organizations will participate in observing the presidential election nationwide. These are the Arab League (AL), African Union (AU), Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly and COMESA-CENSAD.
Mohamed Imam, head of the State Information Service’s (SIS) operations room, said that foreign media such as CNN and BBC have published positive reports about the presidential election, and no trespasses have been observed so far from foreign coverage, except for the coverage of both Al-Jazeera and Turkish channels.
Abdel Fatah al-Sisi
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi
Current President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi is seeking to hold a second term in office to continue his achievements made during his four-year term.
Sisi became president after winning the 2014 presidential election, a few months after he resigned from the country’s Armed Forces.
Sisi was 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 Al-Azhar Mosque, in a quarter where Muslims, Jews and Christians resided peacefully.
He graduated from the Egyptian Military Academy in 1977, and then went on to receive 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 at 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 several aspects: the fight against terrorism, ambitious infrastructure projects like the new Suez Canal and the New Administrative Capital, and a wide economic development strategy that was launched in 2016.
Sisi showed his intention to run for the presidency during his closing speech at the end of the three-day “Tale of a Homeland” conference, where he and the Egyptian government presented an overview of the projects and achievements made in different fields over 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 as the 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 chairman of El 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 four previous years.
An hour before the deadline of submitting the candidacy application to the NEA on January 29, Moussa’s lawyer submitted his application to stand in the presidential election scheduled to be held by the end of March.
Moussa received endorsements from 20 MPs – most of them representing 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.
Several groups participated in collecting endorsements for Sisi. More than 900,000 Egyptians signed endorsement forms for incumbent President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi to run for a second term as Egypt's president, as announced by his legal advisor and spokesman, Mohamed Bahaa el-Din Abu Shoka.
The announcement came at the end of a three-day conference titled “The Story of a Nation”, where Sisi and Prime Minister Sherif Ismail’s Cabinet presented the achievements of his first term as president.
Moussa collected the endorsements of 20 elected parliament members. Moussa’s bid came a few days after President Sisi submitted his candidacy papers to the NEA to run for a second term.
Under Article 142 of the constitution, presidential candidates must secure the recommendation of at least 20 elected MPs or 25,000 eligible voters drawn from a minimum of 15 governorates, with at least 1,000 recommendations per governorate.