Sabahi campaign claims breaches with recommendation forms

Ahram Online , Tuesday 1 Apr 2014

Presidential campaign of Egypt's Hamdeen Sabahi says violations regarding citizens' recommendation forms backing 'certain candidate' occurred Monday

Leftist presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabahi
Leftist presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabahi talks during an interview in Cairo March 12, 2014 (Photo: Reuters)

The presidential campaign of Egyptian Nasserist candidate Hamdeen Sabahi said violations occurred on the first day of the period in which candidates can register to run for the presidential race.

The campaign said in a statement on Monday that some recommendation forms were processed without the physical presence of their signatories.

Presidential hopefuls are required to gather a minimum of 25,000 notarised recommendation forms, signed by at least 1,000 signatories from 15 different governorates, to be eligible to run.

The statement released by Sabahi's campaign also said signatories backing a "certain candidate" were mobilised in private buses and that numerous employees at notary offices refused to register forms for Sabahi.

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

The statement said recommendation forms were late to arrive in many notary offices across the country, as was the new electronic equipment to be used in their registration – for which, in some cases, employees hadn't actually been trained.

By scanning citizens' identity cards, the equipment allows the digital processing of recommendation forms. 

Posters of the "presidential contester" to Sabahi, the statement added, were hung inside a notary office – referring to former army chief Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, the presidential contender many expect will win the elections.

Following three weeks of campaigning to begin on 3 May, Egyptians will vote in the first round of the election on 26-27 May.

Sabahi'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 Supreme Electoral Committee said in a press conference on Sunday.

Sabahi finished third in the first round of the 2012 presidential elections with 4.8 million votes.

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