With three days left until the opening of the polls for the 2018 presidential election, Egypt Today provides voters a conclusive guide on the election.
For those working full-time but wanting to vote, the polls are open for 12 hours on all of the three voting days.
Voting will take place on March 26, 27 and 28 between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m.
The 2018 Presidential Election is the third election to take place since the January 2011 Revolution in 2011.
A run-off round, if needed, is scheduled to take place in April, otherwise, the results will be announced April 2.
Expatriates have already voted between March 16 and 18 in 124 countries. Due to unrest, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen did not witness polls for the 2018 presidential election.
Expats who already cast their votes abroad are not permitted to vote again inside Egypt during the voting period between March 26 and 28.
An electoral silence period has already come into effect; candidates are not allowed to campaign for themselves in the media.
Below is our guide to the 2018 presidential election
When will the election take place?
Voting in the 2018 presidential election in Egypt will commence on March 26, as announced by the National Electoral Authority (NEA) on January 8, and last until March 28. Expatriates have already voted between March 16 and 18.
The results of the first round will be announced on April 2. If there is a need to hold a run-off round, the Egyptian expats will cast their vote again on April 19, 20 and 21. The final 2018 presidential election results are expected to be announced on May 1.
Who are the presidential candidates?
The National Election Authority has approved two official candidates for the 2018 presidential election, as follows:
1- Abdel Fatah al-Sisi
Born on November 19, 1954, Sisi is the sixth and incumbent president of Egypt; he has been in office since 2014.
Married to his relative Entissar Amer, Sisi has three sons and one daughter.
Prior to becoming president, Sisi served in the Egyptian armed forces since 1977.
He announced his intention to run in the 2018 presidential plection during his closing speech at the end of the three-day “Tale of Homeland” conference held January 19.
2- Moussa Mostafa Moussa
Moussa, who studied architecture in France and heads the Egyptian Council for Arab Tribes, has been the chairman of the Ghad Party since September 2005.
Lawyer Samir Elaiwa submitted Moussa’s candidacy documents with the NEA 15 minutes prior to the closing deadline.
Moussa announced that he had collected 20 endorsements from members of Parliament and that he has garnered the support of 40,000 citizens in various governorates.
Sisi chose a star as his symbol in the upcoming presidential election, while Moussa chose a plane.
Expats have already voted
Minister of Immigration and Expatriates’ Affairs Nabila Makram praised the efforts exerted by the Egyptian diplomats and members of the diplomatic corps, as well as Egyptian communities’ unions, in the presidential polls that were held abroad.
In statements on Monday, Makram lauded the remarkable turnout for the presidential polls that were held March 16-18 in 139 electoral committees in 124 countries worldwide.
She said this high turnout of Egyptian expats showed their strong affiliation to their homeland and reflected the fact that they are part and parcel of the political decision-making in Egypt.
Makram also said the ministry’s operation room has been electronically linked with the premises of the diplomatic missions abroad to follow the voting process minute by minute.
She also praised the active role of Egyptian women during the presidential election, adding that the operation room has recorded a high turnout of Egyptian families and employees in all countries, especially in Arab ones such as Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain and Jordan.
The ministry said any inquiries or complaints have been immediately handled upon receiving them, whether by phone or by email, adding that the operation room responded to 270 inquiries by Egyptian expats over the past days.
Who is eligible to vote?
Some citizens will not be able to vote in the 2018 presidential election, according to constitutional expert Dr. Salah Fawzy.
“Constitutionally, policemen and members of the armed forces are not allowed to cast their votes, as long as they are serving in the state,” Fawzy said.
“The election is a very critical period for citizens and requires high-level security and stability by security forces,” Fawzy explained, adding that being part of the state’s executive authority contradicts with the election’s principle of neutrality.
The number of citizens eligible to vote in the 2018 presidential election in March currently stands at some 60 million citizens.
Database of eligible voters
The database is set depending on three sources. First is the Civil Affairs Authority (CAA) affiliated with the Ministry of Interior, as it possesses records of all citizens above the age of 18. Second is the Public Prosecution, which makes lists of citizens denied political rights. Third is the Ministry of Interior’s Passports, Emigration, and Nationality Administration (PENA), which is responsible for complying lists of those who acquired nationality more than five years ago.
Voting Rights Law in Egypt
Article 1: Any Egyptian citizen who is over the age of 18 has the following political rights:
First: Voting in any referendum stated in the Constitution.
Second: Electing the president of the Arab Republic of Egypt,
members of the House of Representatives, and members of municipal
Article 2: Conditions that temporarily deny citizens voting rights are as follows:
1) Citizens under guardianship for mental illness.
2) Patients in mental healthcare institutions in accordance with Law 71/2009.
1) Convicts of tax evasion.
2) Convicts of corruption of political life.
3) Citizens whose properties and savings have been confiscated by a court ruling.
4) Former civil and public sector employees who were dismissed for committing a criminal offense.
5) Convicts of fraud or default.
6) Convicts of any crime.
7) Citizens who served prison sentences.
The Ministry of Interior will be securing all polling locations and providing wheelchairs to assist senior citizens and the disabled.
Insuring your vote does not go to waste
A vote becomes null if:
1- No candidate is chosen;
2- The voter writes his name on the voting card;
3- The voter draws or writes any symbol on the voting card;
4- The voter writes an opinion or comment on any candidate;
5- The voter uses a pencil, not a pen;
6- The voting card is not stamped.
Five regional and international organizations will observe the 2018 presidential election
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Hamdy Loza told MENA on Thursday that five regional and international organizations will observe the 2018 presidential election.
The organizations are the League of Arab States (LAS), African Union (AU), Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).
Loza further elaborated that African observation of the 2018 presidential election symbolizes the solidarity that the African people have with their Egyptian neighbors.
Judges supervising the elections
Mahmoud Helmy El-Sherif, deputy chairman of the National Election Authority and its spokesman, confirmed that the authority has increased the number of judges supervising the 2018 presidential election to about 17,000 due to the increase in the number of polling stations and sub-stations. Both increases came as a result of the increase in the number of voters enrolled in the voter database.
Sherif also pointed out that the authority allocated a judge to oversee every voting box.
Commenting on the requests received by the commission from judges wanting to supervise polls in Sinai, Sherif said that the NEA has received many requests from the judges expressing their desire to supervise the election in North Sinai, despite the Comprehensive Operation Sinai 2018 by the police and armed forces to eliminate terrorism in the area and Egypt as a whole.
In statement to Egypt Today, Sherif added that the many requests received from judges is evidence of their desire to sacrifice for Egypt and their faith in Egypt. It shows their love for their country, he added. It also reflects the confidence of the Egyptian people in Egypt’s judges, along with all state institutions, in overseeing the election and purging Egypt of terrorism.
Sherif stressed that the judges have a prominent role in the electoral process. They are the basis and the backbone of the electoral process, since there is a judge for every voting box. He also spoke of the difficult task of overseeing the voting for three consecutive days. Sherif ended his comments on a positive note, pointing out that judges are at the forefront of those who defend the homeland and are always making precious and generous compromises for Egypt and its people.