Elections countdown: 32 days

On Wednesday, the High Elections Commission (HEC) announced the list of candidates accepted to run in the upcoming parliamentary elections, which are scheduled to take place in Egypt on October 18.

HEC spokesperson Amr Marwan said in a press conference Wednesday that 5,420 candidates were accepted out of 5,955 applicants. Nine electoral lists belonging to five political coalitions were also accepted, while another five lists were rejected.

Candidates have three days to appeal the decisions, with the HEC due to announce its final say on September 27.

All four lists provided by For the Love of Egypt coalition, widely described as the “state list,” were accepted. Two lists from the Salafi Nour Party in the western Delta and Cairo were also accepted, as well as a list by the Republican Alliance for Social Forces, one by a coalition, including the Independent Alliance and the Egyptian Front, and another by the Independent Egyptian Awakening.

The five rejected lists include two lists by the coalition, including the Independent Alliance and the Egyptian Front, one list by Upper Egypt’s Voice Coalition, one list by the Egypt’s Call coalition, and another by the Egypt’s Knights coalition.

The reasons for rejection include incomplete application documents and late submissions.

Ahmed Ezz, Tawfiq Okasha, and drug users disqualified

The HEC announced the disqualification of 346 candidates due to drug use. The privately owned Youm7 newspaper reported that the candidates’ medical reports showed traces of opium, hashish, and Tramadol. Some of the disqualified candidates had not completed their military service, while others did not possess the required educational degrees.

Former Secretary General of Hosni Mubarak’s ousted National Democratic Party (NDP) Ahmed Ezz was officially disqualified from the elections on Wednesday. The HEC confirmed that he had presented an invalid mail account. The prosecutor general had previously issued a decision freezing Ezz’s assets, including his bank and mail accounts.

The election laws require candidates to finance their campaigns through special bank accounts, to enable HEC to monitor campaign spending and ensure that financial restrictions are adhered to.

The employees who opened the mail account for Ezz in Monufiya were referred to investigation by the South Monufiya Post Office, according to the privately owned Al-Watan newspaper. The head of the post office was also transferred to the Suez office as a form of punishment.

Controversial media anchor Tawfiq Okasha was disqualified, because his bank account was invalid.

The accepted candidates: Families and a belly dancer

Zamalek Football Club head Mortada Mansour’s application was accepted in the Meet Ghamr constituency, while his son, Ahmed Mansour, will compete in the elections for Agouza constituency.

Spokesperson for the Nour Party Nader Bakkar was also accepted to represent his party, along with his wife Mariam Bassam al-Zarqa. Party leader Ashraf Thabet is among the Nour party’s accepted candidates. Coptic candidate and the founder of the Copts 38 group, Nader al-Serafy, is also running on the hardliner party lists. The election laws require party lists to specify quotas for women, Copts and youth. Al-Dostour privately owned newspaper reported that none of the applications presented by Nour Party candidates were rejected.

Also accepted to run for the upcoming elections is belly dancer Sama al-Masry, who is running in  the Mansheyet Nasser and Gamaleya constituency in Cairo. Masry told Al-Dostour that she would quit belly dancing for politics, and would work hard on solving the problems of the voters in her constituency. “I will be their best representative in the parliament,” she explained.