CAIRO: The High Presidential Elections Committee (HPEC) will hold an emergency meeting once certain that Abdel Fatah al-Sisi’s electoral campaign distributed free bulbs to make the proper decision on this “electoral violation,” HPEC secretary general Abdel Aziz Salman told Al-Masry Al-Youm Saturday.
“The law prohibits the distribution of electoral gifts, bribes, or whatever that falls under this category to urge citizens to vote for a particular candidate,” Salman said.
The presidential elections law sets a penalty of at least one-year imprisonment and a 1,000 EGP fine or one of the two penalties for such a violation, judicial sources inside HPEC told Al-Masry Al-Youm.
An initiative to distribute energy-saving light bulbs throughout Egypt’s governorates was launched Saturday by Abdel Fatah al-Sisi’s presidential campaign.
The bulbs, part of a push by the Sisi campaign to encourage responsible energy consumption, were given away in the areas of Al-Hussein, Al-Azhar, Sayeda Zeinab, Warraq, and Embaba, according to Sisi’s official campaign page on Facebook.
Changing old lamps with new energy saving bulbs in Egyptian households would save 4,000-megawatts, which would save millions in fuel that could be put toward other subsidies in the state’s general budget, Sisi said in a TV interview on CBC and ON TV channels.
HPEC dismissed an electoral violation by presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabbahi May 4 after he submitted a grievance. He announced his electoral platform three days prior to the date set by HPEC, which is May 3 to May 23.
Although a violation, HPEC dismissed it because it was committed in an “equivocal timing” after Sabbahi was approved as a presidential candidate, which might have made him believe he was entitled to make his platform announcement. HPEC also accepted Sabbahi’s apology and urged all parties to respect the laws governing electoral campaigns.