The second day of recommendations for presidential candidates witnessed the start of campaigning from the two presidential hopefuls, former defense minister Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, and politician and former presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabbahi.
Campaigns for both candidates started rallying to collect the minimum 25,000 civilian recommendation forms from across 15 different governorates that are mandatory to enter the presidential race.
Sisi’s campaign released a statement aimed at facilitating the procedure for filling out the forms, including the names of notary offices in the various governorates assigned by the Justice Ministry to receive them, privately owned Al-Masry Al-Youm daily newspaper reported.
Co-founder of the Tamarod (Rebel) movement, activist Mahmoud Badr, said in an interview with private Al-Hayat satellite channel that Sisi’s campaign had already gathered around 18,045 civilian recommendation forms from across Egypt by late Tuesday.
Badr added that Sisi’s main campaign has not yet commenced, and that the Tamarod movement, Future of a Nation campaign, and the headquarters of the Tagammu, Nasserist and Mo’tamar parties are currently gathering recommendation forms on his behalf, Al-Masry Al-Youm reported.
“Sisi is clearly aware of all Egypt’s problems and he will not make promises out of thin air. His electoral program is tight and realistic,” he added.
Meanwhile, Sabbahi’s campaign headquarters announced nine alleged violations of the recommendation process across the country. The violations include, not receiving forms on time in some governorates and not receiving the new electronic equipment assigned for use in the registration process.
The statement also claimed that 500 forms were filed in Sisi’s favor without the presence of signatories, as well as state employees being transported in buses to file recommendation forms for a certain candidate. Some Notary employees refused to receive forms from Sabbahi supporters while others did not have the skills to operate the new electronic registration equipment, the statement added.
Sabbahi’s campaign also accused a number of Sisi supporters of assaulting their campaign representatives, stealing their banners, and breaking a camera in Heliopolis while they attempted to help citizens file forms.
State-owned Al-Ahram newspaper reported that the general prosecutor is investigating accusations of bribery filed against Sabbahi.
According to the report, Sabbahi allegedly received LE350 thousand in the form of a check from an unnamed company. The prosecution is scheduled to hear the testimony of Azab al-Sayed Makhlouf, the lawyer who filed the report on Sunday.
Sabbahi’s campaign launched their official website, which includes a section introducing the presidential candidate, news about the campaign, and a page with information for donations.
However, the electoral program page includes Sabbahi’s 2012 electoral program with a note saying, “it is being updated and amended by the electoral program committee in Sabbahi’s 2014 presidential campaign.”
Meanwhile, Sisi’s campaign launched an Instagram account Monday night to communicate with his supporters. In one of the photos, Sisi is shown undergoing medical examinations as part of the process for nominating himself to the presidency.
Sisi is the first candidate to undergo the medical exams in one of the Health Ministry’s hospitals, according to the director of the specialized medical boards, Osama al-Hadi who told Al-Masry Al-Youm that “the interaction between the candidate and the medical team assigned to performing the tests was honourable.”
“The final result of his tests will be delivered to him in a closed envelop by Wednesday, then he can file it within his papers to the High Commission of the Presidential Elections,” he added.
Hadi also said that Sabbahi has withdrawn the papers to request a medical examination, however, he’s yet to set a date for the tests.