Sunday,24 February, 2019
Current issue | Issue 1377, ( 18 - 24 January 2018)
Sunday,24 February, 2019
Issue 1377, ( 18 - 24 January 2018)

Ahram Weekly

Elections 2018

اقرأ باللغة العربية

The announcement of the nomination conditions and timetable for voting sounded the starting whistle for the presidential election train, which set off amidst conjectures about the two main candidates who might run against President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi, the strongest contestant who is running for a second term in office.

Notary public offices throughout the country have been deluged with requests of certification of endorsements from citizens for prospective candidates. However, the majority of these so far, as well as the majority of the endorsements from MPs, have been for Al-Sisi. In addition to the fact that no other prominent figures have emerged, the majority of Egyptian public opinion believes that Al-Sisi should be able to complete the many projects and developments he set into motion in the years since the 30 June Revolution and his election to the highest executive office.

Egypt’s economic reform programme had many painful effects during the past three years and placed Egyptian families under considerable strain. However, this was unavoidable after decades of cumulative problems left the economy in a piteous state. The success of floating the Egyptian pound is a point in favour of the Egyptian government, regardless of the criticisms that were levelled against this unprecedented action. President Al-Sisi is expected to present to the people and his constituency a balance sheet of his performance once he announces his candidacy, as attention will then turn to what he plans and what he can offer if he wins a second term.

Security and stability remain a concern for the people who long for an end to bloodthirsty terrorism supported and carried out by criminal groups and sponsors that still seek to propel Islamist groups to the political forefront in spite of the fact that the Egyptian people rid themselves of the nightmare of rule in the name of religion when they ousted the Muslim Brotherhood from power five years ago. The army and the police are engaged in fierce confrontations against terrorist groups in Sinai, and cities in the Nile Valley and Delta have been victim of attacks backed and carried out by cross-border groups, especially those in Libya.

In response to opposition demands for more measures to ensure the complete transparency and integrity of the elections, the Egyptian government has stressed that it will furnish all guarantees of the voting processes and the freedom of candidates to secure the necessary endorsements before the stipulated nomination deadline. Even though the forthcoming presidential elections are unlikely to occasion a heated competition between two prospective lead candidates, they have drawn attention both at home and abroad because they are taking place under particularly delicate regional and international circumstances, and also because of the profound challenges that Egypt has to address at present, especially economically. Egypt is pressing ahead with the economic reform programme, on the one hand, and on the other it is working diligently to achieve tangible progress in the reform of the legislative and regulative structure needed to stimulate a powerful economic and investment boom.

The broad headings of the forthcoming elections are the economy and security and stability, which are what Egyptian voters want the next president to focus on.

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