Thursday,18 April, 2019
Current issue | Issue 1383, (1 - 7 March 2018)
Thursday,18 April, 2019
Issue 1383, (1 - 7 March 2018)

Ahram Weekly

Campaigns kick off

Election campaigning began Saturday and will last for 28 days, reports Ahmed Morsy


Campaigns kick off
Campaigns kick off

Campaigning in the presidential elections kicked off on Saturday. The vote will be held between 26 and 28 March, though expatriates casting their ballots overseas will do so earlier, between 16 and 18 March.

A day before campaigning officially opened the National Electoral Commission (NEC) officially approved both candidates’ requested election symbols. Sitting President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi’s campaign has opted for a star, and Moussa Mustafa Moussa an airplane.

The NEC is allowing 11 days — until 13 March — for campaigning among expatriates abroad and for 28 days — until 23 March — in Egypt.

“During the campaign period we plan to hold between nine and 11 events each day,” Mohamed Elwi, spokesman for Citizen Campaign which supports Al-Sisi, told Al-Ahram Weekly. The events will vary from mass rallies and awareness campaigns to medical convoys.

The mass rallies seek to mobilise supporters while awareness campaigns will urge citizens to participate in the elections and highlight the achievements of Al-Sisi’s first four-year term. The medical convoys, says Elwi, will offer medical services to local communities.

A medical convoy was scheduled to visit Al-Saff in Giza on Wednesday and a mass rally for women has been planned for Friday at Cairo Stadium in support of Al-Sisi. On Saturday representatives of expatriate Copts will hold a conference at Nasr City’s Al-Massa Hotel.

Billboards featuring Al-Sisi have appeared in the streets of Cairo and other governorates and far outnumber those displaying Moussa’s image.

The Ghad Party deputy head Mahmoud Moussa, coordinator of his namesake’s campaign, says banners will begin to be hung in streets across the country starting Tuesday night. Rallies in provincial governorates will be organised by party members and the Egyptian and Arab Tribes Council. The only rally Moussa will attend in Cairo is scheduled for 23 March.

Wagih Abu Hagar, a member of Moussa’s campaign team and general coordinator of the Council of Egyptian and Arab Tribes, says pro-Moussa rallies will be held in almost all governorates.

Between them the Ghad Party and the Council for Egyptian and Arab Tribes have 300 offices across the country, all of which will be used for Moussa’s campaign, Abu Hagar told the Weekly.

Mass rallies are scheduled in Assiut on Sunday, Beni Sweif on Monday, Fayoum on Tuesday and Ismailia on Wednesday. Rallies are also planned for Suez and Port Said.

The NEC has set a cap of LE20 million on campaign spending per candidate. The commission has warned candidates against using religious slogans or any other campaign material that discriminates between citizens, and has reminded campaigns that gifts or donations, either monetary or in-kind contributions, or promising favours either directly or indirectly, are forbidden.

It is also prohibited to use public buildings, vital facilities, public transport, public sector companies and NGO premises in campaigning.

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