As the election date approaches, discussions become more intense regarding the different opinions of the political parties in Egypt on the presidential election.
Following the withdrawal of Ali’s candidacy from the presidential race, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi and Wafd Party leader El-Sayyid el-Badawi end up as the only two candidates who run in the presidential election slated for March.
Civil, democratic movements
The recently-formed democratic movement will hold a meeting on Saturday to discuss their stance regarding voting in the presidential election, President of the constitution party, Khaled Dawood told Egypt Today on Friday.
Dawood added that most probably the movement will announce their boycott of the upcoming presidential elections. “The election became more of a referendum than an election.”
The democratic civil movement has been recently formed in support of lawyer Kahled Salah’s presidential bid and includes 70 political parties, including the parties of the constitution, Al-Adl (Justice) and Masr el Horeyya (Egypt is Freedom), the Popular Democratic Alliance and Al-Karama (Dignity) movement, along with 150 public figures.
The well-known lawyer announced his bid in November and collected around 18,000 endorsements so far. However, he announced his withdrawal from the election, according to the spokesperson of his presidential campaign Amr Abdel Rahman.
Islamist political parties
Similarly, al-Nour Salafist political party will hold a press conference to announce its stance in this regard, spokesperson of al-Nour party told Egypt Today on Friday.
Makyoun also added that al-Nour party has not considered the idea of having a candidate in the presidential race.
Kamal Habib, a researcher and expert on Islamic movements, told Egypt Today on Saturday that al-Nour Salfist party’s previous backing of Persident al-Sisi in the 2014 presidential election had thrown them in conflict with other Islamist groups.
Also, Habib added that al-Nour party’s parliamentarians have signed petitions to support President al-Sisi to run for a second term, which might have given a strong indication about the party’s preferences in the elections, as he put it.
“While I can expect the party’s full support of President al-Sisi for another term, they also may not say this explicitly and only call on people to go and cast their ballots. They would prefer not to take a unified stance so as not to lose their supporters from the members or even leaders who may have a different opinion.” Habib concluded.
MP Taher Abu Zeid, first deputy chairman of the ‘Egypt Support’ coalition, which has the parliamentary majority, said that the coalition supports President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi for a second presidential term as part of the national conscience
On behalf of the coalition, Abu Zeid said that supporting al-Sisi is a message of gratitude for his achievement in the first term. “It was a hard and strenuous process,” Abu Zeid stated, adding, “We will not stop filling in [endorsement] forms.
Meanwhile, Haitham al-Hariry, member of the Parliamentarian 25-30 coalition told Egypt Today on Friday that the coalition has not yet decided its stance regarding the elections, confirming that it would be a premature decision as the official announcement of the candidates have not yet been made.
Hariry also condemned what he described as “desertification of the political life” that was manifested through the lack of more eligible candidates for the elections.
“The coalition released a statement earlier to encourage people to file endorsements for more than one person to ensure the election’s diversity, however things have completely changed with the withdrawal of Kahled Ali and the disqualification of Sami Anan,” he added.
Former Military Chief of Staff Sami Anan, who announced his intention to run for president, was removed from the voters’ database over charges of “forgery”.
The first round of the presidential elections in Egypt will take place between March 26 and 28, and the second round between April 24 and 28, the NEA announced in a televised statement on January 8.
Al-Sisi officially announced on January 19 his candidacy in the 2018 presidential election, scheduled between March 26 and 28.
He took office in 2014 after protesters toppled the Muslim Brotherhood affiliated ex-president Mohamed Morsy.