Egypt's presidential elections to be held 26, 27 May

Gamal Essam El-Din, Sunday 30 Mar 2014

Egypt's new president will be announced by 26 June at the latest, says the Presidential Elections Commission (PEC)

The Presidential Elections Commission (Photo: Ahram )

Egypt's presidential elections are due to take place on 26 and 27 May, the Presidential Elections Commission (PEC) – the judicial body overseeing the polls – announced on Sunday.

Hopeful candidates will be able to register with the PEC from 31 March until 20 April, every day from 9am to 8pm, with the exception of the final day, which will close at 2pm, said Anwar El-Assi, chairman of the PEC and the Supreme Constitutional Court (SCC).

A preliminary list of candidates will then be announced, showing the number of endorsements each candidate received, said El-Assi. According to Egypt's newly amended constitution, each candidate must get at least 25,000 endorsements from a minimum of 15 governorates, with at least 1,000 from each governorate.

The PEC will field objections against the candidates on 22 and 23 April and then, after revising them from 24 to 26 April, announce the results on 30 April, said El-Assi.

The rest of the electoral process will go as follows, says El-Assi:

The final and official list of the candidates will be announced on 2 May.

After that, candidates will select their campaign symbols so they can print election posters and signs.

The election campaigns will officially kick off on 3 May and last until 23 May.

The first round of voting will be on 26 and 27 May, from 8am to 8pm.

Candidates can then file complaints with the PEC on 29 May and will receive a final answer on 31 May.

The results of the election will be officially announced on 5 June. In case of a tie, a run-off will be held on 16 and 17 June, with the final results announced 26 June.

Egyptians living abroad will cast their ballots in the first round from 15 to 18 May, and from 6 to 9 June for the run-off.

El-Assi stressed that the new constitution stipulates that the election be placed under full judicial supervision to ensure they are marked with integrity and fairness.

Security forces, in cooperation with the army, will be on hand to secure the polls, he said.

Sunday's announcement from the PEC comes after weeks of debate over a controversial electoral law, widely believed to have caused the postponement.

The presidential electoral law, issued by interim President Adly Mansour on 8 March, stipulates that candidates cannot appeal the election results as announced by the PEC.

Critics have accused the new law of contravening Article 97 of the constitution, which makes administrative orders liable to judicial appeal. 

Mansour has argued in favour of the law, however, explaining that while he was initially in favour of allowing appeals, he was eventually convinced that they would delay the electoral process and cast doubts on the new president's legitimacy, thus impacting national security. 

Until this moment, the only candidates to have declared their intentions to run are Hamdeen Sabbahi, who finished third in the 2012 elections, and ex-minister of defense Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, whose popularity soared following the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi last July.

The presidential race will be followed by parliamentary polls which, according to the 2014 constitution, must start within six months of the ratification of the national charter.

The post-Morsi constitution was approved by an overwhelming majority on 18 January.




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