Egypt’s National Elections Authority (NEA) said on Saturday that 650,000 endorsements have been submitted by citizens nationwide for around 23 potential candidates for the 2018 presidential elections, which are set for March.
The NEA has opened the door on Saturday for candidates who wish to nominate themselves for the elections. The nomination window is open until 29 January.
Hopeful candidates must receive endorsements from a minimum of 20 MPs, or 25,000 citizens from at least 15 governorates, with at least 1,000 endorsements from each governorate.
NEA member and spokesman Mahmoud El-Sherif said at a press conference that no candidate has officially submitted their application so far, adding that any person has the right to nominate themselves provided they meet the legal requirements.
According to the NEA, hopeful candidates can either submit their applications personally or through their official representatives.
El-Sherif also responded to complaints that several Egyptian consulates abroad have not received nomination pledge forms, saying that the authority has provided the foreign ministry with all the necessary forms.
The NEA will publish on 31 January the preliminary list of candidates in the state-owned Al-Ahram and Al-Akhbar newspapers.
Elections are scheduled to kick off nationwide on 26-28 March, with runs-offs, if they are to take place, scheduled for 24-26 April.
If no run-offs are necessary, the winner will be announced on 2 April.
The upcoming presidential elections are Egypt's third since the 25 January 2011 uprising.
The last elections were held in 2014, where Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi secured 96 percent of the vote over his sole competitor, leftist politician and leader of the Egyptian Popular Current Hamdeen Sabahi.