Egypt's presidential elections to be held in December, election commission says

Presidential hopefuls must submit applications to run between October 5 and 14

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi is expected to run in the election in December. Photo: Egyptian Presidency
Powered by automated translation

Egypt's next presidential elections will be held in the first half of December, the nation's election commission announced on Monday.

Egyptians living abroad will vote over three consecutive days starting on December 1, commission chairman Waleed Hamza confirmed.

Voters at home will go to the polls on December 10, 11 and 12, he added.

The runoffs, if needed, will be held in January 2024.

Presidential hopefuls are invited to submit their applications to run between October 5 and 14, he said.

The complete list of candidates will be announced on November 9, he added.

Hopefuls must secure the written support of 20 sitting lawmakers or at least 25,000 eligible voters from at least 15 of the nation's 27 provinces, to be allowed to run.

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi, in office since 2014, has yet to announce whether he will seek a third term in office, although he will most likely do so.

Barring unforeseen events, the former army general is expected to easily secure a win to stay at the helm of the most Arab populous nation until 2030.

The slate of presidential hopefuls include former MP Ahmed Tantawy, a harsh critic of Mr El Sisi's policies, and Gameela Ismail, who will be the first woman to run for president in Egypt. Another opposition challenger of note is the leader of the Egyptian Democratic party, Farid Zahran.

Given the near certainty of Mr El Sisi's win, the Egyptian leader will be looking to a strong turnout that would hand him a mandate to take painful measures to overhaul an economy battered, by the government's account, by the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic and later by the Russia-Ukraine war.

Critics, however, claim the nation's economic woes are caused in large part by excessive borrowing – foreign debt stands at more than $160 billion – and spending on mega projects that could have waited while funds are used to better the ailing education and health services.

Updated: September 25, 2023, 12:57 PM