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Egypt: election preparations get underway

A poster showing Egypt's incumbent president Abdel Fattah al-Sissi.   -  
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Egypt is busy preparing for its presidential election which will take place from Sunday 10 to Tuesday 12, with the result expected on December 18.

The outcome is seen as a foregone conclusion, with incumbent President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi expected to win a third term, despite growing social discontent as the country's economic situation worsens.

Egyptian voters will choose between Sissi, who has been in power since 2013, and three other candidates who remain mostly unknown to the general public.

Economic situation

For most Egyptians, the number one priority remains the economy. 

Inflation is running at 40%, the 50% devaluation has caused prices to soar and the private sector continues to shrink. 

Public subsidies, meanwhile, are disappearing one by one under pressure from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The IMF is still waiting to carry out its quarterly assessments following a new loan to Egypt, the second most default-prone country in the world, according to Bloomberg.

No surprises

The results will be announced on December 18, unless a second round has to be organised. 

However, seeing as Sissi has won the previous two elections with 96% of the vote, a third term for the president will be of no surprise.

For the Arab Reform Initiative, "Mr Sissi's guaranteed victory has nothing to do with his popularity or economic performance".

The outgoing president "will win simply because he controls the executive state institutions and the much-feared security apparatus and has already eliminated any serious contender", the Paris-based think-tank says.

The think tank argues that, "the key question is whether the elections will provide Sisi with renewed legitimacy or a boost that would allow him to overcome the increasing discontent over his economic governance of the country.

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