The campaign for May 26-27 vote, that marks Egypt’s first elections since Mohamed Morsi was ousted by the military last July, has opened yesterday. Former army chief Abdel Fattah el-Sisi is widely expected to win, agencies report.
Since last July more than 1,400 people have been killed in street clashes and on Saturday, a Cairo court sentenced 102 Morsi supporters to 10 years in prison for protest violence. Other Egyptian court sentenced the leader of the Brotherhood and no less than 682 supporters to death, drawing a widespread Western criticism. The Muslim Brotherhood was declared a terrorist group in Egypt, but it continues to argue it is committed to peaceful activism.
The May 26-27 presidential contestants are former army chief Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and leftist politician Hamdeen Sabahi.
El-Sisi, 59, is popular among Egyptians who supported the army’s decision to remove Morsy from power lst year and see him as the kind of strong man needed to end the turmoil in Egypt since the uprising in 2011 ended Hosni Mubarak’s three decades of one-man rule.