Egyptians began voting Sunday in a presidential election in which President Abdel Fattah El-Sissi faces no serious challenger and is certain to win another term, keeping him in power until 2030. The election has been overshadowed by the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza. Almost all Egyptians’ attention has been on the war on their country’s eastern borders and the suffering of Palestinian civilians in the coastal enclave.
- Presidential Election in Egypt: Egyptians began voting in a presidential election, with President Abdel Fattah El-Sissi expected to win and remain in power until 2030.
- Election Overshadowed by Israel-Hamas Conflict: The election coincides with the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza, drawing the attention of many Egyptians.
- Economic Challenges: The election occurs amidst economic difficulties in Egypt, exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic and the Russian war in Ukraine.
- El-Sissi’s Challengers: El-Sissi faces three candidates: Farid Zahran of the Social Democratic Party, Abdel-Sanad Yamama of the Wafd Party, and Hazem Omar of the Republican People’s Party.
- Withdrawal of Presidential Hopeful: Ahmed Altantawy withdrew from the race due to failing to secure necessary signatures.
- El-Sissi’s Voting: El-Sissi voted early in Heliopolis, making no comments.
- Other Candidates Voting: Zahran, wearing a Palestinian keffiyeh, and Omar also voted.
- Media Coverage: Local TV showed El-Sissi supporters at polling centers.
- Election Schedule: The election spans three days, with a potential runoff scheduled for January if needed.
- Voting by Egyptian Expatriates: Egyptian expatriates voted earlier in December.
- Security Measures: The interior ministry deployed troops to secure the election.
- Voter Eligibility and Turnout Hopes: Over 67 million Egyptians are eligible to vote, with authorities hoping for a high turnout for legitimacy.
- El-Sissi’s Background and Previous Terms: El-Sissi, a former military officer, was first elected in 2014 and reelected in 2018.
- Constitutional Amendments: Amendments in 2019 extended El-Sissi’s term and allowed him to run for a third term.
- Economic Reforms: El-Sissi’s government initiated an IMF-supported reform program in 2016, including subsidy cuts and currency flotation.
- Impact of Ukraine War: The war in Ukraine has strained Egypt’s economy, especially in wheat imports, as Egypt heavily relies on Ukraine and Russia for grain.
The Associated Press has the story:
Egyptians vote for President, with Abdel Fattah El-Sissi certain to win
Newslooks- CAIRO (AP)
Egyptians began voting Sunday in a presidential election in which President Abdel Fattah El-Sissi faces no serious challenger and is certain to win another term, keeping him in power until 2030.
The election has been overshadowed by the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza. Almost all Egyptians’ attention has been on the war on their country’s eastern borders and the suffering of Palestinian civilians in the coastal enclave.
The three-day vote, beginning Sunday, is also taking place amid economic challenges in Egypt, a country of 105 million people. The crisis stems from the repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic and the ongoing Russian war in Ukraine, which rattled the global economy.
El-Sissi faces three other candidates: Farid Zahran, head of the opposition Social Democratic Party; Abdel-Sanad Yamama, chairman of Wafd Party; and Hazem Omar, head of the Republican People’s Party.
An ambitious young presidential hopeful, Ahmed Altantawy, dropped out of the race after he failed to secure the required signatures from residents to secure his candidacy.
El-Sissi voted at a polling center in the Cairo suburb of Heliopolis as soon as the polls opened at 9 a.m. He made no comment before leaving the center.
Other candidates, also cast their ballots Sunday morning, including Zahran, who wore the black-and-white Palestinian keffiyeh scarf as he voted Sunday morning in a Cairo polling station, and Omar.
Local TV stations aired scenes outside polling centers, with women and children, mostly El-Sissi supporters, seen waving Egyptian flags.
The vote runs for three days, starting Sunday, with a runoff scheduled for Jan. 8-10 if no candidate secures more than 50% of the vote, according to the National Election Authority, a judicial-chaired body that runs the electoral process.
Ahead of the vote, the interior ministry, which oversees police forces, deployed thousands of troops across the country to secure the election.
More than 67 million people are eligible to vote, and authorities are hoping for a high turnout to give the election legitimacy.
A career military officer, El-Sissi was first elected as president in mid-2014, a year after he, as defense minister, led the country after a huge revolution in 2013 to overthrow an elected but divisive Islamist president amid widespread street protests against his one-year rule.
El-Sissi was reelected in 2018 for a second, four-year term. He faced only one challenger, a little-known politician.
El-Sissi’s government initiated an ambitious reform program in 2016. The program, supported by the International Monetary Fund, has aimed to reverse longstanding distortions in the country’s battered economy.
It included painful authority measures like subsidy cuts and the flotation of the local currency. In return, Egypt received a series of loans from the IMF, and recognition from the west.
The war in Ukraine has added to the burdens as the Middle Eastern nation has run low on foreign currency needed to buy essentials like fuel and grain. Egypt is the world’s largest wheat importer and has traditionally imported most of its grain from Ukraine and Russia.