A mere few weeks away from the 2018 presidential election, it seems that the odds are stacked against presidential candidate Moussa Moustafa Moussa.
After tens of rallies supporting President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi for a second term saw thousands of civilians, pubic figures and popular personnel attend, Moussa’s campaign decided to organize a rally of their own. Only, the results were drastic.
Sunday saw what is thought to be Moussa’s first march. About 12 people showed up, all of whom are campaign workers.
During the rally in Downtown Cairo, some 12 campaign workers held up signs and posters in support of Moussa and walked for about 100 meters, only to be dismayed by the lack of interest from the public. Saddened by the reaction they received, the march stopped well short of the rally’s ‘finish line’.
Although Moussa was not at the rally himself, local media outlets were on top of the issue, making sure to send dozens of cameramen and editors to the scene to document the march. However, they were left with little to write after the march ended abruptly due to lack of public interest around the event. See the original coverage by AP here.
On the other side of the spectrum, current Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi has managed to gather plenty of love and support from Egyptians at home and abroad. Starting from the ‘To Build it’ campaign to the dozens of rallies and marches all around Egypt supporting him for a second term.
Although the ‘To Build it’ campaign is now over, a short three months after its launch, the campaign had 168 offices in 27 governorates in Egypt and 36 offices abroad. Commenting on this, Mohamed Shaaban, the campaign’s co-founder and an independent lawmaker said, “[To Build it] dreamt of only 27 headquarters, one in each governorate. We got 67. People allocated some places to the campaign for free.” The campaign received 12,132,460 signatories (another 239,361 petitions were null and void due to filling issues), suggesting the huge volume of people supporting Sisi for a second term.
Moreover, recently governorates all over Egypt from Minya, to Cairo, to Fayoum have witnessed crowded rallies in support of the current President of Egypt going on to continue his second term.
Sisi’s great accomplishments during his first term have left many supporting him due to their belief that he is the best person to lead Egypt during this important junction in the country’s history and that he is the most suitable person to continue the journey that he started.
Moussa’s presidential campaign is set to organize another march on Saturday to show their support for Moussa in the upcoming presidential election.
Samir Abdel Azim, Moussa’s campaign legal advisor, states that the march will be within the framework of the events organized by the campaign to support Moussa.
In a message to Egyptians abroad, Moussa said, “I am keenly following up the status of the Egyptians abroad, and I have a clear and ambitious program for every Egyptian residing abroad.” The presidential candidate also called on Egyptians abroad to participate in the elections and make sure that their voices are heard, while also thanking them for their great contributions to the economy through remittances and other factors.
Moussa declared that his electoral campaign program focuses on running the suspended factories and narrowing the gap between salaries and prices.
He also explained that developing Upper Egypt ranks as one of his top priorities as a prospective president. He praised the current government, but accused them of “sluggishness” in developing Upper Egypt.
Adel Esmat, Moussa’s campaign spokesperson, said in a statement on February 14, that the electoral program of Moussa aims to support national capitalism, which is based on stock offerings, forming partnerships between public and private sectors and expanding ownership by the country’s youths.
Essmat asserted that the electoral program, prepared by experts and specified committees of Al-Ghad Party, will propose the key ideas and new visions that would benefit all citizens and achieve a public interest to conclude the transitional stage of the June 30 Revolution.
Moussa’s program also focuses on continuing Egypt’s comprehensive development, started by Sisi, through establishing major projects, and providing job opportunities in Upper Egypt through investment projects.
The campaign of presidential candidate Moussa affirmed that there are at least two million voters backing their candidate in the forthcoming election – most are members of the Arab tribes.
In a meeting held at the Ghad Party’s headquarters in Downtown Cairo on Saturday to organize the campaign to promote Moussa nationwide, Ossama al-Hawary, the party’s deputy head, said that sons of Arab tribes back Moussa for being a patriot working on rooting democracy and upholding the value of public work.
The meeting was attended by members of the Egyptian Council for Arab Tribes that represents all tribes across the nation.
“The boycott calls are very dangerous,” Moussa said during the meeting, calling on all Egyptians to take part in the 2018 presidential election, which will take place on March 26, and to vote in favor of their preferred candidate. He said that his campaign is based on respecting the competitor and enriching the democratic process that followed the uprising of June 30, 2013.
Moussa announced his intention to run after all other potential candidates bowed out, except for former Military Chief of Staff Samy Anan, who was kept out of the race by the armed forces, which released a statement regarding his disqualification. Moussa submitted his documents to the National Election Authority (NEA) hours before closing the candidacy door.
Moussa has stressed his respect and support for President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi in every chance, saying that he appreciates what he has presented to the nation during his first term in office.
Voting in the 2018 presidential election in Egypt will commence on March 26, as announced by the National Electoral Authority (NEA) on January 8. Sixty million eligible voters will cast their ballots in the election between March 26 and 28 in Egypt, while expatriates will vote between March 16 and 18.
Sisi officially announced his candidacy for the 2018 presidential election on January 19.
President Sisi took office in 2014 after protesters toppled the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated ex-President Mohamed Morsi.