Egyptian President, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has confirmed that he will stand for a third term in office.
The former Army General, who was first elected in 2014, made the announcement in a televised address.
The announcement came at the end of a three-day forum in which el-Sisi listened to his Prime Minister and Cabinet members speak at length about the achievements of the government in the nine years since he took office.
“As I have in the past answered the call of Egyptians, here I am today answering their call once again,” El Sisi said.
“I have decided to nominate myself for you so we can continue the dream in a new presidential term that I promise will be a continuation of our joint endeavour for the sake of Egypt and its people.”Abdel Fattah el-Sisi
“I sincerely call on Egyptians to make this election the new beginning of an energetic political life that boasts diversity,” he said in his address.
About 65 million Egyptians are reported to be eligible to vote in the election, which will be held over three days from December 10 to 12, 2023. Egyptians living abroad will be able to cast their ballots on December 1-3.
The election, which el-Sisi is widely expected to win, comes as Egypt grapples with an economic crisis, record inflation, a sharply depreciated local currency and claims by the political opposition that its candidates are suffering harassment and intimidation.
The President promised Egyptians “the new period will be an extension of our common dream for the sake of Egypt and its people.”
A handful of politicians had already announced their bids to run for presidency.
Former parliamentarian, Ahmed al-Tantawi has been gaining popularity since he declared his intention to run earlier this year.
The other challengers are lesser known politicians, with limited popular appeal.
“As an Egyptian citizen before being President, I am very happy to see this multitude of candidates who are taking the initiative to take responsibility,” el-Sisi said in his address.
“They have my respect and appreciation,” he added.
Should he win the election, el-Sisi will have served 16 years in office when his third term ends in 2030.
Al-Tantawi’s Support Restricted
The campaign of Ahmed al-Tantawi, the most prominent potential opponent to el-Sisi, has complained that citizens have been impeded when they tried to register their support for his candidacy.
Prospective candidates need 25,000 public signatures or the support of 20 members of a heavily pro-Sisi parliament to stand for election.
Without parliamentary backing, al-Tantawi will need to collect 25,000 nominations from Egyptians across at least 15 governorates by October 14 to be eligible.
His Campaign Manager, Mohamed Abol Deyar told a news agency that many of those showing up at public notary offices to register their support for al-Tantawi were told the registration system was not working, ordered to come back later or register somewhere else.
Posting on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, he urged his supporters to “cling to hope despite all the pain and to struggle until we achieve our simplest and most important right — to build our present and create our future.”
The Civil Democratic Movement, which groups together some small opposition parties, also said in a statement that there had been multiple violations against citizens trying to nominate candidates to stand against el-Sisi.
Egypt’s National Election Authority stated that it is investigating complaints and called such allegations baseless.
So far, three other candidates have garnered the support to formally enter the race; Hazem Omar of the Republican People’s Party, Abdel-Sanad Yamam of the liberal Wafd Party and Farid Zahran of the Egyptian Social Democratic Party.
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