CAIRO: Following the approval of the presidential elections law on March 8, the various electoral campaigns have begun collecting presidential endorsements in preparation for the presidential race, scheduled for May 26-27.
The latest statistics announced Friday on MBC Masr TV channel regarding the endorsements raised controversy due to Former Intelligence Chief Mourad Mowafy, who has reportedly collected 16,000 endorsements, despite never having announced his bid for presidency, Youm7 reported.
Mowafy stated to the press earlier that he will not run for president against former Defense Minister Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, and that he will support Sisi in the upcoming elections.
Meanwhile, some politicians expect that Mowafy may change his mind, especially with the continued pressure from the “Our President” campaign calling on him to run for president, which has been collecting endorsements for him as part of the campaign.
Mowafy ranks third in statistics after Sisi and the founder of the Popular Current Hamdeen Sabbahi.
Further, state notary offices have received thousands of endorsements for candidates, despite the fact that none of the presidential hopefuls have announced their electoral programs, arousing questions as to whether Egyptians voters are looking for an ambitious electoral program or just a prominent figure.
An official source at a notary office in Minya said that one woman issued an endorsement for the former intelligence head Omar Suleiman, who died on July 19, 2012 in Ohio in United States, Al-Shorouk reported.
Furthermore, Youm7 reported that dozens have issued presidential endorsements for former President Hosni Mubarak, his son Gamal Mubarak and the founder of the Al-Raya Party Hazem Salah Abu Ismail, who have all been issued long prison sentences over different charges.
On March 10, Head of the Ministry of Justice’s Information Office Abdel-Azim el-Ashri said that the total number of citizens who had issued endorsements to support presidential candidates has reached 474,300 since March 31.
According to the elections law, each potential candidate must collect at least 25,000 signatures from 15 out of Egypt’s 27 provinces, with a minimum of 1,000 signatures from each province, in order to be eligible to run for president.
Additional reporting by Alaa Essam, Rabab Al-Galy, Mahmoud Saad El-Deen, and Eman Ali