Published: Tue, January 09, 2018
World | By Melba Underwood

Egypt's Presidential Elections Set for March

Egypt's Presidential Elections Set for March

He returned to Egypt from the United Arab Emirates in December after announcing his intention to run, setting off a firestorm of criticism from state-aligned media and speculation that he was being held by authorities in a Cairo hotel.

Once appeals by rejected candidates are settled, "the final list of candidate names and their symbols will be announced and published in the official gazette and Al-Ahram and Al-Akhbar newspapers" on February 24, he said.

First-round results of the election in March will be announced on 2 April and, in the event of a run-off, on 1 May.

In a Twitter statement, Shafiq said, "I earlier decided on my return to Egypt that I had to reassess my position from running for president, a decision I took when I was in UAE".

He ran in the 2012 elections but lost to the now-ousted president Mohamed Morsi who held office for just one year.

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The announcement comes a day after Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi's only serious challenger - former army general and premier Ahmed Shafiq - bowed out of the race, reversing his pledge to challenge the president at the polls. Sisi is yet to officially announce his candidacy.

Shafiq said last month that he was reconsidering his intention to run in the 2018 presidential elections, after relatives said his whereabouts were unknown for around 24 hours.

Sisi himself has yet to declare if he will run but is widely expected to do so.

Shafiq was Hosni Mubarak's last prime minister before he was toppled in the 25 January uprising in 2011.

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