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Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Elections committee announces timetable for 2018 presidential poll

Elections committee announces timetable for 2018 presidential poll: The National Elections Committee (NEC) announced yesterday at a press conference that Egyptians will head to the polls to elect a president on 26-28 March, Al Masry Al Youm reports. Egyptians abroad will cast their ballots roughly a week earlier, over a three-day period. Candidates must register between 20 and 29 January. In the event of no single candidate wins a majority the first time around, a runoff will take place 24-26 April, commission head Lasheen Ibrahim said. First round results will be announced on 2 April. In the event of a run-off, the final results will be announced on 1 May.

Ibrahim also announced the conditions by which foreign observers will be allowed to monitor the elections, according to Al Shorouk. Observers will be allowed to monitor polling stations for a period of no more than half an hour, which can be reduced by NEC supervisors if deemed necessary. Polling stations can only be observed once, according to a decision by the committee. Organizations and civil society groups must apply at the election’s online portal of between 15 and 19 January. Organizations must have had prior experience monitoring elections in other countries.

The global press is not over the Shafik circus: The international press has already begun casting doubt on the elections, in no small measure thanks to the media circus and antics of former Civil Aviation Minister and bench-warmer Prime Minister Ahmed Shafik. The announcement of the schedule comes just one day after Shafik announced he would not run. Even his withdrawal continues to draw controversy as his lawyer told the New York Times that the decision came as a result of pressure from the government. This statement was quickly denied by members of Shafik’s political party, which said that the announcement was made “with complete conviction,” Al Bawaba reports. The rest of the international press, including Bloomberg and Reuters, focused on the slim chances of potential candidates other than President Abdel Fattah El Sisi, including lawyer Khaled Ali whose, bid may be tossed out if he loses an appeal of his conviction of engaging in lewd public gesture.

What about local elections? The House of Representatives will vote on the Local Administration Act, which establishes elected local councils, before the summer recess, House Speaker Ali Abel Aal said, according to Al Mal.

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