Egypt announces presidential election to be held in December

Egypt will hold a presidential election on 10-12 December, after originally being due to take place in 2024, with President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi widely expected to win a third term.

The elections authority on Monday said the list of candidates is to be finalised by 9 November and the electoral campaign will take place from 9 to 29 November. Egyptian expatriates will vote from 1 to 3 December.

Constitutional amendments in 2019 paved the way for Sisi, 68, to stand for an additional two terms, in addition to extending the duration of presidential terms from four to six years. 

The winner is expected to be announced on 18 December, the elections authority said, adding that, in the event of a run-off round, final results would be announced on 16 January.

Sisi first came to power in 2014 after leading a coup that toppled Egypt’s first democratically elected president, Mohamed Morsi. He won the 2018 election in a landslide victory, carrying 97 percent of the vote, against one candidate, himself a supporter of Sisi, after all serious opposition hopefuls had either been arrested or pulled out themselves, citing intimidation.

Most notable among the four candidates who have so far expressed an intention to run in the upcoming election is former lawmaker Ahmed Tantawy. Earlier this month, a report by The Citizen Lab showed that Tantawy was hacked by European commercial spyware several times after he announced his interest in running for the presidency.

A political advisor on Tantawy’s campaign, Ahmed Abdeen, told Middle East Eye that the former lawmaker would push forward with his candidacy despite the hacking. Tantawy has also reported that security forces have arrested some of his associates and prevented him from holding election-related events.

The presidential election will take place as Egypt is in the midst of a severe economic crisis that has seen the currency lose half its value against the dollar, record inflation and foreign currency shortages. In August, annual inflation in Egypt reached a new record of 39.7 percent, according to official figures released earlier this month.