Egypt's Sisi calls on Egyptians to 'make their voices heard' in upcoming presidential elections

Ahram Online , Monday 19 Mar 2018

Egypt's President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi delivers a speech during Egyptian Family Day in attendance of Sudanese counterpart Omar Al-Bashir in Cairo (Photo Courtesy of Egypt's Presidency)

Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi called on Monday for Egyptians to participate in the presidential elections next week, asking them to "make Egypt's voice heard."

In a speech during festivities held on Egyptian Family Day, El-Sisi described the participation of citizens would show the world "how nations are built."

"You are the hope, the hope of this nation, the loyal sons who answer the call of duty," El-Sisi said during the celebration, which was attended by his Sudanese counterpart Omar Al-Bashir.

El-Sisi and Moussa Mostafa Moussa, the head of Ghad Party, are the only two candidates on the ballot in the 2018 presidential elections, which will be held on 26-28 March.

The voter database records some 59 million registered voters, according to the National Elections Authority (NEA).

El-Sisi said he does not doubt the Egyptian people's commitment to their duty in the national elections, describing their participation as one that "would push the country forward towards the future" regardless of political orientation.

El-Sisi's statements come following the conclusion of voting for Egyptians abroad, which took place on 16-18 March.

The president said that Egyptian expats have been an "inspirational model," showing the world an "example of patriotism."

"All my respect, my appreciation, and greetings to those Egyptians," El-Sisi said.

"We overcame the power of evil, we face it now with determination and persistence," El-Sisi said, adding that the Egyptian people have overcome "difficult times."

During the event, El-Sisi also spoke about the nature of Egyptian-Sudanese relations.

"Egypt and Sudan have always been one family that shares the same destiny and path," El-Sisi said, welcoming Al-Bashir and describing him as a dear brother and friend.

El-Sisi expressed Egypt's conviction that the security and stability of Sudan was indivisible from Egypt's own national security.

Al-Bashir also gave a speech saying that the two countries' relationship was one that was "historic and deeply rooted."

"Egypt's accomplishments are a source of pride for us, Egypt's power is of Sudan's power and vice versa," Al-Bashir said.

The Sudanese president added that he has discussed with El-Sisi boosting the historic relationship between the two countries and removing any obstacle to such unity.

Monday's celebration comes hours after the two leaders discussed bilateral relations, where they agreed to hold a presidential summit later this year in Khartoum.

Al-Bashir arrived in Cairo earlier on Monday in his first visit to the country since the Sudanese ambassador to Egypt recalled in February amid heightened tensions between the two nations.

Relations between Egypt and Sudan were strained in recent months over Sudan's claims of sovereignty over Egypt's southern Halayeb Triangle region and its harbouring of members of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, as well as other differences related to the construction of the Ethiopian Renaissance dam.

In January, Sudan recalled its ambassador to Cairo for consultations.

However, recent meetings between the countries' presidents and discussions held by top officials through a quadrilateral committee that included the foreign minister and intelligence chiefs of the two countries have eased tensions, with the Sudanese envoy returning in early March to resume his duties.

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