The Egyptian election commission has announced that presidential elections are to take place in March. President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi is widely expected to run again. But will it be a one-horse race?
Egypt's presidential election is to take place on March 26-28, the country's National Election Authority said on Monday.
If no candidate secures more than 50 percent of the vote, a run-off election is scheduled for April 24-26.
Sitting President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi has not formally announced that he is running for re-election, but he is widely expected to run and win a second term of four years.
Khaled Ali, a prominent human rights activist, has said that he will also run for president. However, a court conviction in September for making an obscene hand gesture when he won a legal case resulted in him receiving a three-month suspended jail sentence. Ali, 45, is appealing the sentence, but if it is upheld he will be barred by law from running.
Meanwhile, Army Col. Ahmed Konsowa, who had also announced his intention to run for office, was sentenced to six years in jail by a military tribunal for violating a ban on political activism by officers on active duty.
Ahmed Shafiq, who served in former president Hosni Mubarak's government as prime minister, has said that he will not run. Shafiq, 76, fled to the United Arab Emirates after losing the 2012 presidential election. His withdrawal came as a surprise, with Shafiq saying he was not qualified to "lead the state in the period ahead."
Sissi is not expected to win in a landslide as he did in the 2014 elections, where he won almost 97 percent of the vote.
Egyptian expatriates are slated to vote on March 16-18 and April 19-21.
av/rc (Reuters, AP, AFP)