REPORT ON THE FIRST ELECTION PHASE

May 6th, 2014 by Editor

Presidential elections represent an important step towards the roadmap that focuses on three basic steps: issuing a new constitution, step completed with the 2014 constitutional referendum; and the other two steps, i.e. the presidential and the parliamentary elections.

This development is considered a great turn in the route of the revolution of the 25th of January after two years and a half from its outbreak, during which Egypt witnessed a phase of transition in which the country has been ruled by Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), the rule of the Muslim Brotherhood ended by the revolutionary wave of the 30th of June with millions of peoples asking to topple the Brotherhood’s rule, the removal of the elected president Mohammed Morsi after two years of rule and the completion of the goals of the first revolution.

Now, almost three years have passed since the revolution of the 25th of January and the People has voted just once for the presidential elections, which resulted in the victory of the isolated president Mohammed Morsi against Ahmed Shafiq with a small difference. However, after corruption spread, the People decided to make another revolution against the rule of the “isolated” and his society and from that day the Brotherhood’s rule ended and Egypt started a new phase of elections.

Last elections saw a strong turnout, with a number of candidates not withdrawing in favour of others, remaining on the scene till the last moment, while these elections are different to some extent.

EOHR also monitored the phase of the opening of candidatures to the presidential elections and received the papers of the candidates who wished to run for president and the presidential race was finally limited to the two candidates Abd Al-Fattah Al-Sisi and Hamdeen Sabahy in the light of the regulations imposed by the new constitution to whoever desires to run for the elections and the absence of a Parliament which ensues the impossibility for any person to obtain the support of the members of the Parliament according to the conditions set  forth in the Constitution. Thus, the scene has not seen dozens of candidates as it happened in the last presidential elections in 2012, which saw a list of 13 candidates to the presidency.

Moreover the fact that the parties represented in previous parliaments had not been granted an exception to present runners for the presidency, since they could not obtain any authorization in the light of the absence of the Parliament, also contributed to reducing the number of candidates. Below are the main points observed by the Organization:

The Presidential Elections Committee announced on Sunday the 20/4/2014 the termination of candidature to the presidential elections scheduled for the next 26th and 27th of May and the only candidates to the presidential elections are the Marshal Abd Al-Fattah Al-Sisi, the previous Minister of Defense, and Hamdeen Sabahy, who run for the previous elections and submitted his candidature to the committee on Saturday after collecting all the authorizations of his supporters.

However, the Committee will announce the names of the candidates and their supporters on Tuesday and Wednesday and issue its decision on those objections on Sunday the 27th of April; the door for grievance on the decisions regarding the exclusions from the candidature will be opened on the 28th and 29th of April and the Committee will arbitrate the grievances on the 30th of April and the 1st of May; then the same Committee will announce the final list with the names of candidates on Friday the 2nd of May and will publish it on the Official Gazzette, “Al-Ahram” and “Al-Akhbar” to start the electoral propaganda from Saturday the 3rd of May.

In this context this report examines the intermediate steps of the presidential elections during the first phase of the elections:

 

First: elections law issued by the President of the Republic by law number 22 of the year 2014;

The law specified the conditions of candidature and the terms of reference of the Presidential Elections Committee:

Conditions of candidature for the presidency of the Republic according to  the said law:

  1. Shall be Egyptian and have Egyptian parents.
  2. Shall not have acquired the nationality of another country neither from one of his/her parents nor from his/her spouse.
  3. Shall have higher education.
  4. Shall enjoy the civil and political rights.
  5. Shall not have been sentenced to felony or crime involving moral turpitude or dishonesty and if so shall have been rehabilitated.
  6. Shall have already performed the military service or being lawfully exempted.
  7. Shall have reached at least 40 years of age one day before the opening of the candidature.
  8. Shall not suffer of any physical or mental illness that affects his performance in the function of President of the Republic.

Such conditions for the candidature to the Presidency of the Republic have been affected by the previous presidential elections and the condition of the medical examination has been added on the basis of the fact that the absence of this condition affected the previous President Mohammed Morsi and the wave of allegations from the candidate Abo Al-Futoh. The condition of lack of a sentence for felony or offense involving moral turpitude.

 

Critique of the aforementioned article:

  • The second paragraph of Article I mentions that it will prevent the candidacy for those, whose wife carries a citizenship of another country. This is something unjustified as the article mentions regarding the deprivation of candidacy for those, whose wife is a citizen of another country but it doesn’t mention about any prevention of candidacy whose children are citizens of another country. The standard which the legislator depends upon while making this article is in question, as the article has ambiguity and hence there is a possibility of circumventing. One way is dissolution of marriage , to stand for election. Hence, such an omission is to be considered as a loophole.
  • The eighth paragraph of the Article I mention about the initial medical examination of the candidate for the elections. medical examination is a detailed inspection of the mental and physical health of the candidate. If found to be unfit o, the General Committee has the discretionary authority to declare the candidate unfit and forbid the candidate for participating in the elections.
  • The argument being, that he/she is considered incompetent as of illness ,and will be affect on his/her performance as a President. The committee’s decisions cannot be appealed before any judicial body.  In addition to the Higher Committee,  for the presidential elections in its resolution No. 3 of 2014, mention  regarding the procedure for medical examination on the candidates. The General Administration of medical specialist board  has to prepare a medical report, where it explains ,how the illness of  declared unfit candidate will affect the performance as a President. To prevent any injustice to the candidate, the report is to be very precise and reasonable justification is to be given for forbidding the candidates.

 

Secondly: the Presidential Elections Committee announces the opening of candidature to the Presidency:

The Presidential Elections Committee announced the opening of the candidature to the presidency of the “Arab Republic of Egypt” on the 31st of March 2014 and then it will announce the names of the candidates and the preparation of their supporters on the national level on the 21st of April on Al-Akhbar and Al-Ahram newspapers; It will follow the challenge among the candidates on the 22nd and 23rd of April which will be decided between the 24th and 26th of April with the choice of the excluded on the 27th of April; the exception in the exclusion will be accepted on the 29th of April and the choice will be conducted by listening the petitioners on the 30th of April and on the 1st of May 2014; the final list will be announced on the 2nd of May and published on Al-Akhbar and Al-Ahram newspapers; this will be followed by the beginning of the electoral campaigns of the candidates for a period of 21 days starting from the 3rd till the 23rd of May which will include the acceptance of the candidature referral submitted before the 9th of May and the choice of the symbol on the 10th and 11th of May 2014; the electoral campaign of the candidates will start from this Saturday the 3rd of May and finish at the end of Friday the 23rd of May 2014. Thus the electoral propaganda will be prohibited on Saturday and Sunday the 24th and 25th of May, as well as on the election day.

According to the agenda, the vote of the Egyptians living abroad will take place during the first round in 4 days starting from Thursday the 15th till the 18th of May 2014, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. according to the timing of all the states. Instead, the vote of the Egyptians at home for the presidential elections will take place on the 26th and 27th of May and the results of the first round will be announced maximum on the 5th of June, while the runoff  in the next presidential elections if necessary will take place next 16 and 17 June. The final result of the elections will be announced by the 26th of June.

 

Third: gathering of authorization;

Article (2) of the law on giving the right those who wish to run for the elections includes two options:

  1. Shall be supported by twentyfive thousand citizens who have the right to vote in fifteen governatorates.
  2. The candidate shall be recommended by twenty members of the Parliament.

The Presidential Elections Committee had to address the President of the Republic adding a third paragraph to Article (2) of the law which lets the parties represented in the previous parliaments candidate any of their members in case of absence of the parliament in order to avoid a small number of candidates, as in the previous elections, and to let the largest number of candidates possible run for the electoral process.

According to article 11 the support of citizens who have the right to vote for those who wish to run for the presidency of the Republic shall follow the model prepared by the Presidential Elections Committee and shall in particular include the data of the person who is asked to run and of the citizen that supports him, the ID number, the place of residence and an acknowledgment that he has not supported him before for the same candidature or for other purposes; the supporter shall commit himself  to sign the data included in the model and prove this signature without fees, but with the knowledge of one of the Registry Offices of the Real Estate Pubblicity Department or any other agency constituted by the Presidential Elections Committee according to its the conditions.

According to article (12) the application for candidature shall be submitted to the Presidential Elections Committee in pursuance of the model it prepared, within the period specified that shall not be less than ten days and not exceed thirty days as of the day of opening of the candidature. The documents specified by the Committee shall be attached to the application at the moment of its submission and in particular: the special models with the recommendation and support of the application to the candidature, (twenty-five thousand supporters), acknowledgment from the person who applied for the candidature that he is Egyptian from Egyptian parents, that he, his parents or his spouse do not possess the nationality of  a third country, criminal status, certificate of completion of the military service or exemption from it according to the law, receipt of the payment of twenty thousand EGPs to the Presidential Elections Committee as insurance, that is given back after the announcement of the result of the elections with the deduction of publishing cost and the removal of  the election posters as the case may be.

According to article 13 the Committee shall then publish, on two daily newspapers within the two next days to put an end to the application period, the names of those who submitted these applications and the preparation of their supporters; the Committee shall also proceed, according to article 14, to the examination of the applications to the candidature, the ascertainment of the satisfaction the conditions stated by the Constitution and the law, and the arbitration of the objections submitted according to the provisions of the previous article within the five days following the period specified for submitting the objections.

 

Fourth: the presidential candidates

In anticipation for the 2014 presidential elections, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Hamadayn Abdel-Maksoud Abdul Ati Sabahi announced their intention to contest the first presidential race. The former defense minister, Abdel Fattah Sisi was born in Cairo on November 19, 1954, and the leftist politician and President of popular trend Hamdeen Sabahi was born in Baltim, Kafr Al-Shaikh governorate on July 5, 1954, said Hussein Khalil.

Chancellor Abdel Azim Ashry, Chairman of the Technical Office of First Assistant Minister of Justice announced previously that the number of citizens who filled out forms to support candidates to run for the presidential elections before the Real Estate Publicity Department all over the Republic reached 578,300 supporters since 31 March till the elections commission closed the presidential candidacy window on 18 April.

On Monday, April 14, 2014, the Higher Committee for the presidential election received the nomination papers of presidential candidate Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, which were estimated to exceed 190,000 “papers of support”. He is the first candidate to submit his candidacy papers.

On Saturday, April 19, 2014, the Higher Committee received the papers of the presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabahi which amounted to 31,100 “papers of support” from the 17 governorates.

On Sunday, April 20, 2014, the Higher Committee formed the “Technical Committee”, which is going to examine the candidacy documents of Sabahi. The documents consisted of academic qualification, medical examination, military service verification, and financial disclosures. The submissions also included statements verifying that he is an Egyptian native born to Egyptian parents, documents showing that his wife or any member of his family do not hold citizenship in another country, and the receipt showing payment of the sum of twenty thousand pounds to treasury of Presidential Election Committee (PEC). The committee ensured the safety of 31,100 “papers of support” for Sabahi.

Thus, during the closing candidacy date, one of these candidates should receive the required majority of 50% +1, however, in the unlikely situation of a split vote, a runoff will take place on 16 and 17 June.

 

Fifth withdrawn applicant:            

A number of applicants retracted their application for the presidential race and, as a result, decided not to run the electoral process. Among them included Mortada Mansour and Khaled Ali.

 

Mortada Mansour:

Mansour announced his withdrawal from the presidential race, announcing at the same time his support for the candidate Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. He explained that his decision in this regard came in response to the desire of the members of the board of directors of Zamalek club.

 

Khaled Ali:

Ali, an Egyptian lawyer and activist, is the member of the Socialist Front and the director of the “Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights’’. He withdrew from the upcoming presidential election and decided not to participate for several reasons. He believes current political scenario has evidently many problems. He also thinks that the election law is unconstitutional and contrary to the 2014 Constitution, believing that law for demonstrations is “flawed” and does not commensurate with the new constitution. In addition to that, the government imposes high taxes on commodities, which the “working class” cannot afford and are unable to buy as a result.

 

Bassem Khafagi:           

Bassem  Khafagi is the former community affairs director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).  he  work with the Islamist group and  he is going to be the first candidate from the Islamic current to take the step for the candidacy of presidential elections. However, he was denying his affiliation for the Muslim Brotherhood.

Later he came back giving a statement announcing that he will not run for the presidency and  not  participate in this so called  comic play. at the same time he asked Dr. Mohamed Morsi to mandate him in elections in order to run for the presidency.

 

General Sami Annan:

With a surprise announcement  move  of General Sami Anan, he will not participate in the upcoming  presidential election. He said that he will remain faithful to Egypt and army ,will be    a savior to Egypt and irrespective of circumstances.

 

Ahmed Shafik:            

All though the former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafik ranked at  second place in the previous presidential election , was expected  to get more than 12 million votes these many votes this time to win. but he isn’t taking part in this presidential elections. Some of his supporters regarded him as a legitimate president, but he is in support of the candidacy of Sisi , when Shafik announced his intention not to run for president election.

 

Sixth: Violations during the first phase of elections:

The Egyptian Organization did not get  any complaints from any party during the collection phase of the candidate agencies.  also there were no violations in general but the official campaign for the candidate.

Abdel Fattah al-Sisi  has denied  its relation to a person ,who said that he collects the candidate agencies for the rival candidate Hamdeen.

It stressed that some of the websites and the media had published about some people from Sisi official campaign in Baltim  (Kafr el-Sheikh Governorate) mobilized citizens to do the candidate Agencies of Hamdeen in order to maintain the competition.

 

In this context, the campaign confirmed that what is mentioned in this regard is totally incorrect and the person who issued these remarks doesn’t have any relevance to the campaign.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, May 6th, 2014 at 2:15 pm and is filed under Statements. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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