Farid Zahran second to submit candidacy for Egypt's presidential elections

Amr Kandil , Monday 9 Oct 2023

Farid Zahran, head of the opposition Social Democratic Party, submitted his candidacy papers to the National Election Authority (NEA) on Sunday to become the second candidate to submit to run in presidential elections in December.

Farid Zahran
File Photo: A snap shot of Farid Zahran, Chairman of Egyptian Socialist Democratic Party during a video declaring his decision to run in Egypt s upcoming presidential election. Photo courtesy of Egyptian Socialist Democratic Party.


Zahran's step comes a day after El-Sisi, who seeks re-election for a third term until 2030, submitted his candidacy papers to the NEA, the body in charge of managing and supervising the electoral process in Egypt.

The Egyptian constitution requires candidates to secure endorsements from at least 20 MPs from the House of Representatives or 25,000 registered voters from at least 15 governorates, with a minimum of 1,000 endorsements from each governorate.

Most of the leading political figures planning to run have been endorsed by the minimum number of parliament members. However, potential candidate and former MP Ahmed El-Tantawy is still struggling to secure the required endorsements from citizens at notary offices nationwide.

Tantawy falling short

Early on Saturday, El-Tantawy, former head of the leftist Karama (Dignity) Party, said he has only secured 7,741 endorsements, less than third of the number required. He added in a video on his Facebook page that most of the endorsements were issued by Egyptians residing abroad.

The 44-year-old aspiring candidate said his supporters have faced harassment and restrictions since notary offices started receiving endorsements for candidates two weeks ago, causing him to fall short.

El-Tantawy said he will head to the NEA on Tuesday alongside leaders of parties supporting him to address the authority’s new chairman and board members over the issue.

He added that in case his supporters continue to face difficulties issuing endorsements, his campaign will prepare unofficial endorsement forms so that people can express their voices.

In case he manages to secure the necessary endorsements, El-Tantawy said he will submit his candidacy papers to the NEA on Friday. Otherwise, he will submit a complaint to the NEA with the unofficial endorsements being a proof of the actual number of supporters, he added.

According to the election’s timeline, candidacy applications must be submitted from 5-14 October. Incomplete submissions will be disqualified and an initial list of candidates will be announced by 16 October.

Other candidates in final stretch

Meanwhile, Gameela Ismail, the chairwoman of the liberal Dostour (Constitution) Party, secured the required endorsements from members of Parliament, according to some local reports. However, Ismail has not confirmed the news and is continuing to tour notary offices to check on the endorsement process.

Abdel-Sanad Yamama, head of the liberal Wafd Party and Hazem Omar, head of the Republican People’s Party are very close to submitting their candidacy papers to the NEA after finalizing the required medical examinations.

Yamama, whose candidacy has stirred division among members of his own party, headed to the parliament on Sunday to gather endorsements and hand them to the NEA on Monday along with other candidacy papers.

Omar, who secured 44 endorsements from MPs, plans to head to the NEA in the coming days.

Voting in Egypt will take place 10-12 December, with Egyptians abroad casting their votes 1-3 December.

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