Egypt presidential elections to be done by 3 May
This year’s presidential election cycle will wrap by 3 May, more than a week ahead of the start of Ramadan, National Elections Commission (NEC) chief Lasheen Ibrahim tells Ahram Online. Candidate registration has reportedly also been scheduled to take place in the first half of February, freeing up March for campaigning, and April for the ballot boxes. Some 60 mn citizens will be eligible to vote as the rolls have been updated, judge Mohamed Fahim Darwish tells the newspaper.
“The NEC will do its utmost to ensure candidates are treated on an equal footing in terms of campaigning, spending and media coverage,” he adds. The NEC has already set a ceiling of EGP 20 mn on campaign spending for the first round and EGP 5 mn for the runoffs. Members had also said that candidates will be forced to do all their spending using a special bank account created specifically for the event, which would allow the NEC to monitor the process and take quick note of any violations.
The NEC is set to announce the exact timeline and procedures for the Presidential elections today in a press conference at 4pm CLT.
Erstwhile presidential candidate Ahmed Shafik withdrew his candidacy on Sunday saying “he is not the perfect person to lead the country over next period.” The remarks came in a post on his Facebook page and bring an end to a shock bid that got off to a bizarre start and included claims of arrest and deportation from the UAE. His announcement got Reuters, the Washington Post and the BBC in the international press.
Frustration with the government in Egypt will be channeled into support for opposition candidates in the upcoming presidential elections, a report by Stratfor Worldview suggests (paywall). The report points out Khaled Ali as the candidate most likely to garner the support of frustrated voters, but his ability to run will be decided in March, pending a trial.