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Presidential elections to begin 26 May

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Door for application of presidential candidates opens Monday

n Egyptian woman fills in her ballot at a polling station in Cairo on June 2012.   (AFP File Photo)

An Egyptian woman fills in her ballot at a polling station in Cairo on June 2012.
(AFP File Photo)

The first round of upcoming presidential elections will take place on 26 and 27 May, announced the Presidential Elections Commission (PEC) on Sunday. If a second round is required to select Egypt’s next president, it will take place on 16 and 17 June.

The commission announced that the first round of voting at embassies and diplomatic missions for Egyptians abroad will span from 15 to 18 May, and a second round would take place from 6 to 9 June.

The PEC added that the results of the first round would be announced on 5 June, while the second round’s tally is expected to be announced on 26 June.

The door for presidential hopefuls to apply for candidacy is scheduled to open on Monday 31 March and will close on 20 April, added the commission.

According to the newly passed presidential elections law, the PEC is tasked with overseeing the poll. The commission is comprised of the Chairman of the Cairo Court of Appeals and the most senior deputies of the heads of the Supreme Constitutional Court, the Court of Cassation and the Administrative Court.

The law also stipulates that the PEC announce the names of the candidates within two days of the closing date for nomination. Nominees are allowed to file objections against fellow candidates and those who have been disqualified are allowed to challenge the PEC’s decision.

Presidential candidates must be at least 40 years old on the day the door for candidates opens and have never held the citizenship of another country. Candidates also must have either served their compulsory military service or have been legally exempted.

In the law passed by interim President Adly Mansour, the maximum each candidate is permitted to spend on campaigning amounts to EGP 20m. In the case of a second round, each candidate is permitted to spend an additional EGP 5m.

Nasserist politician Hamdeen Sabahy and former Minister of Defence Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi are the only two prominent figures who have announced their intentions to run for the presidency.

Sabahy, who founded Al-Tayar Al-Shaaby, finished in third place in the 2012 presidential elections behind Morsi and former prime minister Ahmed Shafiq.

Al-Sisi, who has been the subject of strong public support, announced his candidacy last week on state television while declaring his retirement from the armed forces, as the constitution only permits civilians to vie for the presidency.

The winner’s term will begin on the date on which the final results of the elections are announced.

Egypt’s upcoming elections will be the second poll since former president Mohamed Morsi’s ouster last summer. In January, 20,613,677 voters, a 38.6% turnout, overwhelmingly approved the amended constitution in the country’s first post-Morsi referendum.

The Muslim Brotherhood and other groups supporting Morsi did not officially participate in the constitutional referendum and have assessed the post-Morsi roadmap put forth by the armed forces as “illegitimate”.


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