Egyptians Urged to Boycott Sisi’s Elections After High-Profile Withdrawals

Egyptians Urged to Boycott Sisi’s Elections After High-Profile WithdrawalsEgyptians Urged to Boycott Sisi’s Elections After High-Profile Withdrawals

Five Egyptian public figures, including two former presidential hopefuls, called on Sunday for voters to boycott the March presidential election after the withdrawal of all candidates but the incumbent Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi.

Sisi, who has been in power since 2014, appears set to run unopposed after all other presidential hopefuls were either jailed or announced they would not take part in the election on March 26-28, The New Arab reported.

Nominations for candidates remained open until Monday.

The undersigned “condemn all security and administrative practices that the current regime took to prevent any fair competition against it in the upcoming elections,” they said in the statement.

The document was signed by a barred presidential hopefuls top aides Hisham Geneina, a former anti-corruption chief, and Hazem Hosni, a political science professor at Cairo University.

They had been part of the team campaigning for General Sami Anan, a former armed forces chief of staff.

Anan was accused of illegally announcing, on January 20, his intention to run for president before getting the military’s approval.

Sunday’s call for voters to boycott the election was also signed by 2012 presidential candidate Mohamed Anwar Sadat, a dissident and nephew of the former president of the same name.

On January 15, Sadat said he would not throw his hat into the ring this time because the climate was not conducive to free and fair elections.

The boycott call was also signed by moderate 2012 presidential candidate Abdel Moneim Abol Fotouh, a former senior leader of the Muslim Brotherhood.

The fifth signatory was Essam Heggy, a NASA space scientist who worked as an adviser to former interim president Adly Mansour.

The five also complained of a “tight timetable which did not give competitors a real chance to present themselves.”

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