Egyptians begin filing recommendation forms for presidential candidates

Ahram Online , Monday 31 Mar 2014

Notary offices opened across the country on Monday for Egyptians to notarise petitions for presidential candidates

line up
Egyptians line-up to file recommendation forms for candidates in Menoufiya, Egypt, Monday, 31 March 2014 (Photo: Al-Ahram)

Egyptians have begun filing recommendation forms for presidential candidates, a day after the electoral committee outlined the voting schedule.

Presidential hopefuls are required to gather a minimum of 25,000 notarised petitions from citizens in 15 different governorates - with at least 1,000 signatures from each - to be eligible to stand.

The registration process opened on Monday at 350 notary offices nationwide and will run until 20 April, justice ministry official Omar Marwan said.

Egyptians will vote in the first round of the election on 26-27 May, a poll likely to be won handsomely by retired army chief Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi.

El-Sisi, who led the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013 amid mass protests against his rule, resigned from his post as army chief and defence minister last week so he could stand for the presidency.

The only other declared candidate is Nasserist politician Hamdeen Sabbahi, who came third in the 2012 election.

A final list of approved contenders will be announced on 2 May, the electoral committee said on Sunday.

There will be three weeks of campaigning, starting on 3 May.

Sabbahi's campaign team has voiced concern over "insufficient campaigning time," saying 21 days is not enough to tour all 27 governorates, state news agency MENA reported.

The results of the first round of voting will be released on 5 June, the election committee said at a press conference on Sunday.

A second round – due for 16-17 June – is highly unlikely given El-Sisi's popularity.

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