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The New Arab

Egypt parties begin campaigning for controversial 2018 presidential elections

Egypt's Sisi rules out a third term [Facebook: Nation's Future]

Date of publication: 20 November, 2017

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Campaigns for Egypt's 2018 presidential elections have begun with main political parties and prominent personalities calling for Sisi to run a second term

Campaigning for next year's controversial Egyptian elections started this week, with the launch of three party campaigns, all in support of Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

"We're all with you [Sisi] For Egypt", "To build [Egypt]", and "Repaying you" are the fawning slogans of the parties supporting the president, who is expected to bid for second term as leader.

MPs from the Support Egypt bloc, Free Egyptian Party, and the Nation's Future Party are supporting the "To build [Egypt]" campaign. They are also collecting signatures promoting Sisi's candidacy in the 2018 presidential elections. 

Fronting "We're all with you for Egypt" is Dr. Sherif Abdulmoneim, backed by a number of well-known political and academic names.

"Repaying you" is the latest campaign to hit the streets of Egypt, led by Lieutenant Ahmed Abdullah.

"We ask the citizens to not let themselves be swayed by enemies of the state and their propaganda despite the economic difficulties Egypt is currently facing, as we are fighting an existential battle today," Abdullah said.  

On Sunday evening, the Egyptian political party, Mustaqbal Watan ("Nation's Future") launched their campaign in Alexandria under the slogan, "To build [Egypt]".

Hossam Zaki, one of the organisers of the campaign, said Manshiya Square was chosen for the launch as it represented Egypt's "war against terrorism".

He said over the next six months he will try to reflect the people's alleged "support" for Sisi, who Zaki claims has been protecting Egypt from the scourge of "terrorism".

Wael Afifi, general secretary of the Nation's Future party, said the pro-Sisi campaign aimed to counter the criticisms of Sisi by "enemies of the state".

These "enemies" have highlighted the country's dire economic situation, appalling human rights record, fragile security, and loss of territories to neighbouring Saudi Arabia under the president.

Open critics of the president are jailed.

"Your funerals (that you caused) are greater than your achievements #WeDontWantYou"

President Sisi came to power in a military coup that overthrew Egypt's first democratically-elected President Mohamad Morsi in 2013.

Although Sisi - then field marshal - initially claimed to be disinterested in the trappings of power, he soon back-tracked on the decision and said he would run for president.

Sisi now promises not to run for a third term, but is likely to stand in the next presidential elections which he will no doubt "win" given the clampdown on opponents.  

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