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Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Sadat will not contest presidential elections

Mohamed Anwar Sadat announced he will not be running in the presidential elections in March, The Associated Press reports. Sadat says the political “climate” isn’t conducive to campaigning and that he “‘will not contest a lost battle’ while also citing emergency laws and a ban on demonstrations as further reasons for his decision.” Sadat’s political party, Reform and Development, will consider supporting other candidates, he told reporters. Sadat hinted that he is mulling a “full campaign in 2022,” granted President Abdel Fattah El Sisi is re-elected this year and therefore ineligible to run for a third term, The Guardian says.

Meanwhile, he National Elections Commission (NEC) set yesterday a cap on campaign donations to presidential candidates of up to 2% of the total allowed campaign expenditures, Al Mal reports. The NEC had set a ceiling of EGP 20 mn on campaign spending for the first round and EGP 5 mn for the runoffs, meaning donations must not exceed EGP 400k and EGP 100k for the two rounds, respectively. The NEC also selected Banque Misr and the National Bank of Egypt as the two banks where candidates may set up the special accounts through which they are required to do all their campaign spending. All contributions must be deposited in these accounts, and the banks and candidates are required to inform the NEC of all transactions through the accounts to allow the NEC to monitor spending.

Separately, a group of lawyers have filed a legal complaint requesting the extension of the deadline by which presidential hopefuls are required to submit their nomination documents, Al Shorouk reports. The lawyers say that the 10-day window the NEC has set is insufficient to allow would-be candidates to gather the 25,000 signatures required to be eligible for nomination, and claim that the time limit is hindering their ability to qualify for the race.

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