Egypt presidential poll timetable to be unveiled next week
Egypt’s upcoming presidential election timetable will be officially declared on Monday 25 September amid speculation that the vote will be brought forward.
Ahmed Al-Bendary, the director of the National Election Authority (NEA) told reporters in Cairo on Wednesday that the entity will maintain "a neutral stance" towards candidates while guaranteeing the rights of those who meet the nomination requirements.
"The next presidential poll will be the fifth of its kind in terms of diversity and competition and the third since the January 25 Revolution erupted [in 2011]," Bendary said, without confirming an election date.
Legally, the vote must be held before 15 January 2024, the day on which the mandate of the National Election Authority expires.
"The poll will be held under full judicial supervision, while ensuring transparency, in the presence of representatives of each candidate at polling stations," he added.
The Egyptian constitution stipulates that presidential candidates are required to secure endorsements from 20 MPS or 25,000 registered voters in at least 15 provinces with a minimum of 1,000 endorsements from each province.
While President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi has not publicly announced his intention to run for a third term, several political parties have recently voiced their support for his candidacy.
The elections are not expected to be free or fair, despite Bendary's assurances. Previous presidential elections held since Sisi's 2013 military coup have given improbable majorities for Sisi and have been marked by the arrest of rival candidates.
The elections come amid severe socio-economic instability, economic mismanagement, and ongoing corruption issues in Egypt.
Last October, the Central Bank of Egypt imposed exchange rate flexibility, allowing the value of the Egyptian pound to be regulated by market forces. The change aimed to save Egypt's already ailing economy after securing a $3 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The US dollar is currently valued at 30.95 in banks and currency exchange offices, but it is worth about 40 EGP on the black market.
Egypt's annual headline inflation hit 39.7 percent last month compared to 38.2 percent in the previous one as the prices of basic necessities have continued to soar, taking a heavy toll on low and average-income households.