Egypt will hold presidential elections over three days in December, officials announced Monday, with President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi most likely to stay in power until 2030.
Waleed Hamza, chairman of the National Electoral Authority, said the vote would be held on December 10-12, with a second round on January 8-10 if no candidate secured more than 50% of the vote. Egyptian expatriates will vote on December 1-3 and in the second round on January 5-7, he added.
A number of politicians have already announced their candidacy for the country’s top job, but none pose a serious challenge to el-Sisi, who has been in power since 2014 and has faced criticism from the West over his human rights record. of his country.
MULTI-PARTY COALITION CRITICIZES EGYPTIAN GOVERNMENT IN RARE SHOW OF DISPUTES
El-Sisi, a former defense minister, led the military overthrow of an elected but divisive Islamist president in 2013 amid street protests against his one-year rule. Since then, the authorities have launched a major crackdown on dissent. Thousands of government critics have been silenced or jailed, mostly Islamists but also many prominent secular activists, including many of those behind the 2011 uprising that toppled longtime emperor Hosni Mubarak.
El Sisi has not yet announced his candidacy.
He was first elected in 2014 and re-elected in 2018 for a second four-year term. Constitutional amendments, voted in a referendum in 2019, added two years to his second term and allowed him to run for a third, six-year term.
In the 2018 vote, el-Sissi faced only a little-known politician who entered the race at the last minute to spare the government the embarrassment of a one-candidate election after several candidates were forced to withdraw or were arrested.
Among the presidential candidates in the December election is Ahmed Altantawy, a former parliamentarian who has repeatedly complained of harassment by security services of his campaign staff. He also claimed that authorities have been spying on him through cutting-edge technology.
Others who have announced their bid include Abdel-Sanad Yamama, head of the Wafd party, one of Egypt’s oldest. Gameela Ismail, head of the liberal party Dostour, or Constitution. and Farid Zahran, head of the Egyptian Social Democratic Party.
SUDAN MILITARY CHIEF VISITS EGYPT FOR FIRST TRIP ABROAD SINCE SUDAN WAR BREAKOUT
The governing board of the National Dialogue, a forum announced by El-Sisi last year to help chart Egypt’s road map through recommendations, called for reforms to ensure a “multi-candidate and competitive” presidential election.
In a statement last week, administrators called for all candidates and opposition parties to be allowed to interact directly with the public.
“Government institutions and agencies are required to maintain an equal distance from all presidential candidates in order to preserve their legal and constitutional rights as well as equal opportunities for all,” the administrators said.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
The board also called on the government to speed up the release of critics held in pretrial detention and to amend relevant legislation, which it said established “a kind of criminal punishment without a judicial verdict”.