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National Elections Authority: Presidential elections to be held in March

Presidential elections are to be held in Egypt from March 26 to 28, and for citizens outside Egypt from March 16 to 18, the recently formed National Elections Authority (NEA) announced on Monday.

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi issued a decree on October 10 stipulating the formation of the NEA to oversee the upcoming elections. It is chaired by the Court of Cassation’s Vice President Lasheen Ibrahim. 

Ibrahim announced the dates of the election in a press conference on Monday.

Official candidate nominations can be made from January 20 until 29.

The results of the election are scheduled to be announced on April 2, and will be published in the Official Gazette if a candidate garners an absolute majority of over 50 percent of the vote.

In the case of a tie, the results will be announced on May 1, after a second round of voting, which will take place between April 19 and 21 outside Egypt, and between April 24 and 26 inside the country, with a nine-day campaigning period from April 15 to 23.

The preliminary list of candidates is due to be announced on January 31, with a final list released on February 24, after the NEA reviews applications and any appeals filed by those excluded.

Candidates will be permitted to campaign between February 24 and March 23. This will be followed by a two-day period of pre-election silence until the start of the elections on March 26 within Egypt, and abroad from March 14 until they begin on 16th.

Article 210 of the Egyptian Constitution states that the Supreme Administrative Court is the institution charged with ruling on appeals against the NEA’s decisions regarding referendums, presidential and parliamentary elections and their results within a period of no more than 10 days.

The authority has requested a list of terror suspects from the government in order to remove them from the national voting database, as stipulated by Article 7 of the terrorist entities law, NEA spokesperson Judge Mahmoud al-Sherif reported.

In May, the Official Gazette published several court orders stipulating the inclusion of thousands of Muslim Brotherhood members and supporters on the national terror list. The Brotherhood was designated a terrorist organization by the government in 2013.

Potential candidate and Mubarak-era Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq announced on Sunday that he would not run for president, and two other potential candidates are facing court trials that could preclude them from the race: A military court sentenced Armed Forces Colonel Ahmed Konsowa to six years in prison in December after he announced his intention to run, while human rights lawyer and political activist Khaled Ali is currently facing trial for allegedly using an “inappropriate hand gesture” in public.

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