Egypt gears up for presidential race on Sunday

Zeinab El-Gundy , Saturday 9 Dec 2023

On Sunday, over 9,000 polling stations nationwide will open their doors at 9am to millions of eligible voters to cast their ballot for one of four candidates to become the country’s next president.

Egyptian Presidential elections 2024
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.


From Sunday till Tuesday, about 67 million eligible voters inside Egypt will have the opportunity to choose their president for the next six years by casting their ballots at 11,631 sub-committees set up across 9,376 polling stations nationwide.

Eligible voters can inquire about their electoral committees and polling stations by entering their 14-digit national identification number on the NEA website.

The process will be supervised by 15,000 judges in the subcommittees and polling stations.

The election authority is scheduled to announce the final results on 18 December if no run-off is required.

Voting abroad was held from 1-3 December at 137 Egyptian embassies and consulates across 121 countries.

Students and teachers at 10,085 schools across the country that will be used as voting locations will get the three days off.

Local and international observers

On Wednesday, the NEA announced that it approved 24 embassies, 67 diplomats, and 220 international observers from 14 foreign organizations, along with 68 local organizations and 22,340 local observers from six local NGOs to observe the elections

Among the regional organizations are the African Union Commission (AUC) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) which are participating in a joint mission.

The mission is comprised of 70 observers including African Union-accredited ambassadors, members of African civil society organizations, African election officials and experts, and human rights specialists.

The mission will deploy to 16 of Egypt’s 25 governorates.

The Arabic Parliament, the legislative body of the League of Arab States, said it would send the largest delegation of observers in its history, although it did not reveal the exact number.

Locally, several Egyptian NGOs will observe the elections, including the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR), which announced that it will deploy its 188 accredited observers across the country.

The NEA has also approved 4,218 media observers – representing a wide range of agencies, newspapers, channels, and media outlets – to cover the elections.

The candidates

Four candidates are vying for the presidency, with current president Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi considered the frontrunner.

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.

In 2019, Egypt passed constitutional amendments extending presidential term limits from four to six years.

The current president was first elected in 2014 in a landslide victory with 96.91 percent of the votes against renowned Nasserite and opposition figure Hamdeen Sabbahi.

In 2018, he secured another landslide victory with 97 percent of the votes against the less-known Ghad Party Leader Moussa Mostafa Moussa.

This time, El-Sisi is running against three rivals rather than just one.

The other three candidates are Farid Zahran, the leftist opposition Social Democratic Party leader and candidate with the sun as his electoral symbol.

Other contenders are Abdel-Sanad Yamama, representing the Wafd party with the palm tree as his electoral symbol; and Hazem Omar, the candidate from the People's Republican Party with the ladder as his symbol.

In this race, El-Sisi maintained the star as an electoral symbol just like in the presidential elections of 2014 and 2018.

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