The Presidential Elections Commission (Photo: Ahram)
Hamdeen Sabahi and Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi are Egypt's final contenders for the 2014 presidential race, the Presidential Election Commission's (PEC) spokesman Abdel-Aziz Salman said in a press conference on Sunday.
PEC – the judicial body supervising the polls – has examined the documents of both contenders and concluded that both candidates meet the eligibility requirements set by the commission, Salman said.
Egypt's elections will be held on 26 and 27 May.
Salman also revealed further details of the presidential election process, including the election's monitoring bodies and the voting process outside of Egypt.
The commission has granted approval to six international organisations to monitor the elections and 79 domestic ones who met the requirements. A total of 116 Egyptian organisations applied for monitoring status.
The spokesman also pointed out that the PEC is considering allowing the eliminated domestic organisations to participate in the monitoring process through granting them a "guest status", the same status granted to the National Council for Human Rights (NCHR) and the National Council for Women.
Out of 44 national and international media institutions that applied for covering the elections, 36 were granted approval, while 13 out of 18 satellite channels were permitted to cover the elections.
Salman also said the two candidates will be able to choose their voting symbols on 3 and 4 May. The candidate who first submitted his documents to the PEC – El-Sisi – will be given priority in choosing his campaign symbol.
El-Sisi has revealed his intention of using a star, while Sabahi requested the eagle, the same symbol he used in the 2012 presidential elections, which was not initially available but was granted by the PEC.
The press conference also discussed elections for Egyptian expats who will cast their ballots from 15 to 18 May.
The PEC has cancelled pre-registration for expat voters, announcing that anyone who is outside Egypt on the days of the election can vote at Egyptian embassies.
A total of 144 embassies and consulates will serve as polling stations in 124 different countries. Elections will not be held in Libya, Syria and two other countries due to security reasons. Those who reside in these countries, according to the spokesman, will have to travel to other nearby countries where there are polling stations.
The PEC has changed the timing of the elections to start from 9am to 9pm on the first day, instead of the initial timing of 8am to 8pm. On the second day of the elections, polling stations will open at 9am and will not close until the last person standing casts his/her ballot.
Election campaigning will start on 3 May and last until midnight of 23 May.
A committee, consisting of representatives from the ministries of endowment, media and education as well as the police's general investigation department and the Egyptian Anti-Corruption Agency will monitor any violations of the no-campaigning policy after 23 May.