Who’s who: Meet Egypt presidential elections' four hopefuls

Merna Hesham , Tuesday 17 Oct 2023

Ahram Online delves into the 2024 Egyptian four presidential contenders, whose names were announced by the National Elections Authority (NEA) on Monday and published in Tuesday's issue of the Egyptian Gazette.

Sisi, Yamama, Farid Zahran, Hazem Omar
From left to right: Incumbent president Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi; Abdel-Sanad Yamama, head of Egypt's oldest liberal party, the Wafd; Farid Zahran, head of the opposition Social Democratic Party; and Hazem Omar, head of the People's Republican Party.


The four declared candidates are the incumbent President Abdel-Fattah El-SisiFarid ZahranAbdel-Sanad Yamama, and Hazem Omar.

Two other candidates had withdrawn from the race: Ahmed Tantawi, a former MP and former leader of the Karama (Dignity) Party, and Gameela Ismail, the chairwoman of Al-Dostour (Constitution) Party.

Ismail withdrew following her party's decision. Tantawi ended his campaign due to his inability to secure the required number of endorsements.

The National Elections Authority (NEA) will be accepting appeals against its disqualification decisions on 17-18 October, with rulings expected between 19 and 21 October. The final list of qualified candidates will be released on 9 November.


1. Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi

El-Sisi announced his intention to run for a third term on 2 October, “heeding the call of Egyptians once again, and I am determined to run for president,” backed by over 1.1 million endorsements from citizens and 424 from MPs.

Following the 2019 constitutional amendments that altered presidential term limits, El-Sisi – in office since 2014 – became eligible to run for a third term that ends in 2030.

Prior to his political career, El-Sisi, 68, was a graduate of the Egyptian Military Academy in 1977 and obtained a master’s degree in military sciences from the Command and Staff College in 1987, according to the presidency’s official website.

He received additional training at the Joint Services Command and Staff College in the UK in 1992.

El-Sisi also obtained the Higher War College Fellowship from Nasser Higher Military Academy in 2003 and another training at the United States Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, in 2006.

He served as the head of Egypt’s Military Intelligence and Reconnaissance Department from 2010 to 2012.

El-Sisi was appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Egyptian Armed Forces from 2012 to 2014.

He also held the position of Egypt’s Minister of Defence from 2012 to 2013.


2. Farid Zahran

Zahran, the head of the opposition Social Democratic Party, center-left, submitted his papers on 8 October, with endorsements from 30 MPs.

Zahran, 66, is one of the founders of the Egyptian civil movement.

He played a prominent role in the revolutions of 25 January 2011 and 30 June 2013.

Zahran is the son of Saad Zahran, a leading founder of the Egyptian leftist students movement in the 1970s. He is also head of the Al-Mahrousa Centre for Publishing, Press, and Information Services.

He also served as a board member and one of the founders of Al-Badil newspaper. He edited and wrote in many newspapers, magazines, and periodicals such as Al-Ahram, Al-Hayat, and Al-Bayan, according to a statement by his party.

His accomplishments include participating in establishing the Egyptian Popular Committee in Solidarity with the Palestinian Intifada and the Euromed Civil Forum, within a partnership between Egyptian and Euro-Mediterranean civil society organizations.

Zahran was appointed by El-Sisi as a member of the Egyptian Senate in 2021.


3. Abdel-Sanad Yamama

Yamama, the head of Egypt’s oldest liberal party, the Wafd, since March 2022, submitted his papers on 9 October, with 27 MPs' endorsements.

Yamama, 71, is a graduate of Cairo University’s Faculty of Law in 1947. He holds a master’s degree in international law from Ain Shams University in 1983 and a doctorate in foreign investment in Egypt from the University of Nancy in France in 1988.

He is a professor and head of the Department of Private International Law at the Faculty of Law, Menoufiya University. 

Prior to heading the Wafd Party, he worked as a lawyer for the Muslim World League.

In 2004, he joined the Wafd party, which was established after the 1919 revolution against British occupation.

He was elected as a member of the Supreme Committee of the Wafd Party for 3 consecutive terms, in addition to previously holding the position of chairman of the Legislative and Constitutional Committee.


4. Hazem Omar

The second-largest block in Egypt’s House of Representatives, holding 50 (8.8 percent) out of 596 seats, the Republican People’s Party (RPR) has unanimously nominated its chairman and Senator Hazem Omar to run for president in the 2024 presidential elections. His party doesn't explicitly state its ideology, but according to the party's website, it was founded in 2012 with the aim to represent all segments of the Egyptian population.

Omar, 59, submitted his papers on 13 October, supported by endorsements from 46 MPs and nearly 68,000 endorsements from citizens.

Omar, a tourism entrepreneur, was appointed by El-Sisi to the Senate in 2020. He held the position of chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee before submitting his resignation in late September.

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