Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi’s campaign for re-election said it had presented 173,000 citizen endorsements for the president’s candidacy to the National Elections Authority, among other necessary documents to qualify him to run for a second term.
In a press conference held at the campaign’s headquarters in New Cairo on Monday evening, campaign spokesperson and legal advisor Mohamed Bahaa El-Din Abu Shoka stated that the Sisi campaign had originally received 915,000 legally valid endorsements but it had decided to submit only 173,000, to allow them to be processed more speedily.
"In the 2014 presidential elections our presidential campaign submitted more than 1730,000 endorsements and it took from early morning on that day until 4am of the next day to scan and validate them at the High Elections Committee," Abu Shoka explained.
Abu Shoka added that the 173,000 endorsements represent Egypt geographically, as they came from every single village in every administrative centre in the country’s 27 governorates.
He said they covered all ages, from 18 years old to 100 years old, including two women who were born in 1918.
The well-known lawyer also revealed that the campaign received endorsements from 594 MPs in the House of Representatives, from different political currents and parties.
According to the Egyptian constitution as well as the presidential elections law, presidential hopefuls must submit at least 25,000 endorsements from citizens across 15 governorates, or 20 endorsements from members of parliament, to qualify as candidates.
During the press conference, Abu Shoka made it clear that El-Sisi’s presidential campaign depended only on volunteers and that current state officials were not allowed to participate in the campaign in any way.
An hour before the deadline for candidates nominations, the Ghad Party leader, Moussa Mostafa Moussa, presented his candidacy documents for Egypt's presidential elections to the NEA, including what he said were 47,000 citizens' endorsements and 26 endorsements from members of parliament.
Only El-Sisi and Moussa have submitted the required documents within the deadline.
The NEA will publish the list of individuals who submitted candidacy requests in the state-owned Al-Ahram and Al-Akhbar newspapers on Wednesday, while the final list of those who qualify as candidates is scheduled to be announced on 24 February.
Elections are scheduled for March.
President El-Sisi, whose current presidential term will end in June, won the 2014 presidential elections in a two-man race with nearly 97 percent of the vote.