Egypt: Election dates announced for late May

Egypt’s upcoming presidential elections has been announced for the 26th and 27th of May. This essentially follows the political roadmap the country is following, ensuring elections will conclude by 17 July. If a runoff is needed, they’ll take place the 16th and 17th of June.

Therefore, the electoral process has entered “high gear” this week. Monday brought the first day of presidential candidate nominations. As of now, former military defense minister el-Sisi and politician Hamdeen Sabbahi are the only declared presidential candidates for the upcoming elections. Nominations along with required petitions are due 20 April.

On the streets

Two were shot dead on the Al-Azhar University campus in Cairo on Sunday during protests against the expelling of a student and over the arrest of another student who is related to a imprisoned Morsi aide. Monday brought more protests with cars set on fire in response to the two deaths. The university has condemned the violence.

The deaths were brought about by Ministry of Interior security forces storming the protests in an effort to bring calm. The MOI insists that the death toll remains at one.

A democracy group reports students put on 1,427 protests across Egypt universities during the fall semester.

Elections

A pro-Morsi alliance is now considering a possible presidential boycott. Although, no official decision has been declared by the organization.

Magdy Qurqur, a leader at the National Alliance to Support Legitimacy, told Al-Masry Al-Youm the alliance is tentatively leaning towards boycotting the vote. “The final decision, however, won’t be taken before the window for nominations closes because there might be political developments,” Qurqur said, adding that “the alliance rejects the upcoming presidential elections because they are void.”

Qurqur added that the boycott would cover polling, nomination and political support for candidates, and can be achieved by casting a “no” vote for all runners.

Egypt politician Hamdeen Sabbahi started his presidential campaign on Saturday with human chains hosting chants from 25 January and 30 June revolutions in Cairo and in other Egypt governorates. Supporters of Sabbahi say the campaign season is too short.

El-Sisi has reportedly not received electoral papers because of an incomplete application with missing documents. The Egypt Presidential Elections Committee (PEC) will only issue the electoral papers until they receive required documents.

Headlines

A Egypt court denied bail for three Al Jazeera English journalists for the second time on Monday. They are accused of disseminating false news and influencing terrorism.

Another 33 Morsi-supporters were sentenced to six years in prison for belonging to the locally banned Muslim Brotherhood organization and violating the national protest law.

Attack on personnel carrier in Egypt’s noth Sinai kills a soldier and injures three on Sunday. Militant attacks across Egypt have killed more than 450 people since the Morsi ouster last June, a report says.

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