Recommendation form (Photo: Mai Shaheen)
The Luxor Court on Tuesday ordered the arrest of an employee of the public notary office in the city in Upper Egypt. The unnamed employee will be held for four days while authorities investigate the rigging of the recommendations of two presidential candidates, Amr Moussa and Ahmed Shafiq.
The prosecutor has ordered investigations and for the recommendations to be re-examined. Because the campaign managers of presidential candidates Abdel-Moneim Abul-Fotouh, Hazem Salah Abu-Ismail and Mohamed Selim El-Awa filed an official complaint in Luxor, the prosecutor has called them in for questioning.
The campaign managers of the three candidates who filed the complaint were alarmed after the huge discrepancy between the number of recommendations filed between Wednesday evening and Thursday morning. Between the hour that the notary office closed, where the recommendations were being submitted, to the hour they opened the next day, there were approximately 600 more recommendations - overnight when the offices were closed.
Candidates running independently need to acquire 30,000 recommendations from at least 15 of Egypt's governorates. Individuals submit their recommendations to the notary offices, affiliated with the Ministry of Justice.
Starting 10 March, 2012, presidential hopefuls could officially submit their application and they have until 8 April, 2012.
The presidential election will be held in Egypt on 23 and 24 May 2012. If run-offs are needed, the top two candidates will face off on 16 and 17 June, 2012.