By Riches Soberekon
Egyptians living abroad have begun casting their votes for the highly anticipated presidential election in their home country. The favorite candidate in this election is President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who is seeking a third term in office.
The voting process for Egyptians abroad will take place over three days in 121 countries worldwide. This early election comes at a time when Egypt is grappling with an economic crisis.
The largest Egyptian communities are found in Saudi Arabia, the United States, the United Arab Emirates, and Kuwait. In Egypt itself, the voting will commence from December 10 to 12, and the official announcement of the winner is scheduled for December 18.
Aside from President Sisi, there are three other candidates running for presidency, but they have not garnered significant popular support. These candidates include Farid Zahran, the leader of the Egyptian Democratic and Social Party; Abdel-Sanad Yamama, the head of the century-old Wafd party; and Hazem Omar, the leader of the Republican People’s Party.
Unfortunately, some prominent figures from the opposition have faced obstacles in their participation. Hisham Kassem, the leader of the liberal opposition, was sentenced to six months in prison, effectively barring him from the campaign. Ahmed al-Tantawi, a former parliamentarian, had initially generated hope among the opposition but was forced to withdraw from the race due to difficulties in gathering the required number of signatures.
Allegations of electoral misconduct have also emerged, with claims of attacks on supporters and the falsification of electoral documents. Ahmed al-Tantawi and members of his campaign are due to appear in court next month to address these accusations.
On the other hand, President Sisi has received significant support, securing 424 signatures from deputies out of 596 seats, along with 1,135 endorsements from public figures. As the election progresses, all eyes are on Egypt to see who will emerge as the victor and lead the country for the next term.