Egypt: 60 million Voters Choose Next President

Incumbent Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is widely expected to be reelected after three days of polling.

Egyptians on Monday, March 26, 2018 began a threeday vote to select their next leader in a contest many observers say is most certain to be won by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi who is standing against Moussa Mustafa Moussa of Al Ghad party.

Some 60 million voters out of a population of about 100 million have until Wednesday March 28, 2018 to make their choice. Voting by Egyptians living abroad held from March 23-25, 2018. President Sisi voted in the capital, Cairo in one of 13,000 polling stations across the country.

“I have hope about the future. We need to let the President complete his economic reforms,” one Sisi supporter said. Security and medical services were on high alert as the army and the police deployed to secure voters and facilitate voting.

The Ministry of Local Development announced round-the-clock reports to identify participation rates in the election. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, 63, who led the military overthrow of Egypt’s first democratically elected President Mohamed Mursi in 2013, is seeking a second term after a first four-year mandate.

The sole challenger, Moussa Mustafa Moussa, a long-time Sisi supporter, earlier endorsed him for a second term before deciding to run at the last minute. Moussa dismisses accusations that he has been used to present a false sense of competition.

Seven candidates initially announced their intention to run for the presidency, but majority pulled out of the race, alleging unfair practices. They included human rights lawyer Khalid Ali and former Prime Minister Ahmad Shafiq. An editorial in Stateowned newspaper, al-Ahram, acknowledged the narrow choice for voters, but suggested that the mere holding of the ballot was sign that Egypt was regaining its strength in the face of current domestic and foreign threats.

The President can only be re-elected once. According to al-Ahram, the winner of the vote is to be announced by the National Elections Authority on April 2, 2018. Al-Sisi has been in power since 2013 when he led the military overthrow of Islamist President Mohammed Mursi following mass protests against his rule. He later won a landslide victory in the 2014 presidential poll. His supporters say his first term brought stability to a country rocked by unrest since 2011.

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