Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi officially launched his bid for a second term in office on Wednesday, submitting documents to register as a candidate, state news agency MENA said, a day after his main potential rival was arrested.
Sisi, who won an election in a landslide in 2014 after leading the army in ousting Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Mursi a year earlier, becomes the first candidate to register officially for the election set for March 26-28.
Candidates must register from Jan. 20 to 29 before a final list of candidates is announced on Feb. 20, according to the election commission.
The Egyptian Election story so far
November 6, 2017: Egyptian lawyer Khaled Ali says he’ll run for president in 2018
November 29, 2017: Colonel Ahmed Konsowa announces his plans to run for president
December 2, 2017: Colonel Konsowa is detained by the army in ‘preventive custody’
December 20, 2017: Colonel Konsova is convicted of ‘expressing political opinions as a serving military officer’
January 7, 2018: Ahmed Shafik tweets that he is no longer considering running for president
January 8, 2018: Electoral commission sets March 26-28 as presidential election date
January 11, 2018: Former army chief, Gen. Sami Anan’s party announces his candidacy
January 13, 2018: Mortada Mansour, a legislator, announces presidential bid
January 16, 2018: Mohamed Anwar el-Sadat calls off his election bid
January 19, 2018: Incumbent president Sisi announces his intentions to run for a second term
January 21, 2018: Former presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabahi endorses Khaled Ali
January 23, 2018: Gen. Sami Anan is detained by the army, calls off his bid
January 24, 2018: Khaled Ali announces decision ‘not to run for president’
January 24, 2018: Sisi officially submits documents to register as a presidential candidate
Sisi’s popularity has been damaged by austerity reforms, security problems and a crackdown on dissidents, his critics say, but he is widely expected to win the election comfortably.
The electoral commission has said it will ensure the vote is fair and transparent.
Those who have considered challenging Sisi describe a sweeping effort to kill off their campaigns before they begin, with media attacks on candidates, intimidation of supporters, and a nomination process stacked in favour of the former general.