Egypt election authority denies violations, favoritism in presidential candidates' endorsement process

Ahram Online , Thursday 28 Sep 2023

The Egyptian National Election Authority (NEA) has denied the occurrence of any violations, favouritism, or mistreatment of any individual at the notarization offices responsible for issuing endorsement forms for prospective candidates in the upcoming presidential elections.

 Walid Hassan Hamza
Judge Walid Hassan Hamza (R), Chairman of Egypt s National Election Authority (NEA) and Vice President of the Cassation Court, looks on during a press conference regarding the upcoming 2024 Egyptian Presidential Elections at the Cairo International Convention Centre in Cairo on September 25, 2023. AFP

"All the claims raised in this regard, which have been monitored and investigated by the National Election Authority, are nothing more than baseless and false allegations,” read the NEA’s statement.

The NEA added that all the decisions concerning the election process conform with the constitution and the law and with relevant international standards that guarantee equality of opportunity to all candidates.  

The NEA's statement comes one day after Ahmed Tantawi, a potential candidate for the election, claimed that his supporters "faced difficulties" at notarization offices nationwide as they attempted to issue endorsements for him.   

Presidential candidates must secure endorsements from 25,000 eligible voters across at least 15 governorates or 20 MPs.

In its statement, the election authority said it understands the competitive atmosphere surrounding any election, though it "absolutely refuses to be embroiled in any political disputes."

The NEA also rejected any attempts to offend it or to cast doubts on its independence, stressing that "no party has the right to interfere with its work in any way."

The election authority concluded the statement by stressing: "It welcomes all concerned parties to report any incidents supported by indubitable proof that certain errors or certain violations of the decisions issued by the authority had taken place to investigate their veracity and thereupon take immediate measures to rectify these errors and also take legal action to punish violators."

Potential candidates

Seven political figures have revealed their plans to compete in the upcoming elections.

Last week, Gameela Ismail, chairwoman of the liberal Dostour (Constitution) Party, and Farid Zahran, chairman of the leftist Egyptian Social Democratic Party, announced their intentions to run.

The others are Abdel-Sanad Yamama, head of the Wafd Party; Fouad Badrawi, a former MP and member of the Wafd Party's Higher Council; Hazem Omar, head of the People's Republican Party; Ahmed El-Fadaly, chairman of the Democratic Peace Party; and Ahmed Tantawi, a former MP and former head of the leftist Al-Karama (Dignity) Party.

President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, whose term ends in 2024, has not officially announced his intent to run for a third term, although several political parties have urged him to do so.    

Election timeline

According to the timeline announced by the National Election Authority on Monday, the presidential election process will cover the period between 5 October and 18 December in case of no run-offs.

Issuing endorsements for candidates at notary offices opened on Monday.

Submitting for candidacy will open for ten days, from 5 to 14 October.

Overseas voting is scheduled for 1-3 December, while voting at home for 10-12 December.

The winner will be announced on 18 December if no run-off is required.

If no candidate wins a majority of valid votes, the two top candidates will face off in a second round.

Elections will be held for voters abroad from 5-7 January 2024, while elections at home will be held from 8-10 January 2024.

The winner of the run-off will be announced on 16 January.

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