Egypt Presidential Election Set For May

egyptian electionThe first round of Egypt’s presidential poll has been set for 26-27 May, the electoral authorities say, days after army chief Gen Sisi resigned and announced his candidature.

State TV said nominations would be accepted from Monday until 20 April.

Abdul Fattah al-Sisi led the overthrow of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in July after mass opposition protests.

Correspondents say he is likely to win the presidency, given his popularity and the lack of any serious rivals.

If he does not win more than 50% in the first round of voting, a second round will be held on 16-17 June.

Egyptians abroad will vote between 15 and 19 May, state media report.

The only other person to declare his candidacy so far has been Nasserist politician Hamdeen Sabahi, who came third in the last presidential elections in 2012.

If Mr Sisi does become president, he will be the latest in a line of Egyptian rulers drawn from the military; a line only briefly broken during President Morsi’s year in office.

Also on Sunday, Egyptian authorities announced they were monitoring the use of an anti-Sisi hashtag on Facebook and Twitter which translates as “vote for the pimp”.

Officials warned they would arrest the most prolific users of the hashtag.

Human rights groups say the military-backed authorities have displayed increasing hostility to independent media and to political opponents.

Since Mr Morsi’s overthrow more than 1,000 people have been killed and thousands of members of Mr Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood have been detained in a crackdown by the interim authorities, who have designated the Islamist movement a terrorist group.

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