Potential presidential candidate Mohamed Anwar al-Sadat, the head of the Reform and Development Party, told Mada Masr that he would announce his final decision regarding his 2018 presidential bid in a press conference on Monday.
Sadat said that he sent a request to Parliament Speaker Ali Abdel Aal on Tuesday, in order to secure permission to meet with members of Parliament inside the legislative body and seek their endorsements. However, according to Sadat, he has not received a response.
“The endorsement forms are available only inside Parliament. I want to use my constitutional right to access Parliament and seek MPs’ endorsements, but the Parliament speaker is standing in the way. He often alludes to me in negative comments in the Parliament’s general sessions,” Sadat said.
To qualify to submit an application to run in Egypt’s presidential election, a candidate must collect at least 20 endorsements from MPs or 25,000 endorsements from at least 1,000 eligible voters in 15 different governorates, according to the presidential elections law and the Constitution.
Sadat has sent three letters to the National Elections Authority (NEA) decrying what he asserted were attempts by the National Security Agency (NSA) to hinder his campaign. Notably, Sadat stated that hotels, following the NSA’s orders, had refused to host a press conference concerning his presidential bid, which has prompted him to use the Reform and Development Party’s headquarters for Monday’s announcement.
Sadat also told Mada Masr that he is currently holding meetings with campaign representatives in governorates across Egypt to follow the developments in the collection of endorsements, in order to make a decision.
Sadat also previously said that he contacted the NEA to appeal to all Authority of Real Estate Proclamation and Notarization offices, which are responsible for accepting candidate endorsements, to refrain from intimidating and harassing citizens attempting to sign endorsements for candidates and not to allow security personal to be present as citizens process their endorsement.
“It seems that the regime doesn’t want any other candidates and is intending to only hold a referendum for Sisi,” he said.
Several potential candidates have allegedly faced various forms of intimidation before the presidential race has even begun.
Lawyer Khaled Ali’s candidacy in the upcoming elections is dependent on the outcome of an appeal filed against a three-month sentence, stemming from public indecency charges. If the sentence is upheld, Ali would be stripped of the opportunity to participate in the electoral process, either as a candidate or voter.
After he announced his intention to run in the 2018 Egyptian presidential election, former Mubarak-era minister Ahmed Shafiq was reportedly arrested on December 2 and deported from the United Arab Emirates, where he had been residing since 2012. After he arrived in Egypt, his family told media outlets that his whereabouts were unknown. He resurfaced during a television interview later that evening, but he has since rescinded his decision to run.
A military court sentenced Armed Forces Colonel Ahmed Konsowa to six years in prison on December 19 after he announced his intention to run in the elections while wearing his military uniform.