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Egypt opposition coalition calls for boycotting Sisi's 'farce' elections

Sisi is certain to win the contest where he is virtually the only candidate [AFP]

Date of publication: 30 January, 2018

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A coalition of eight Egyptian opposition parties and some 150 pro-democracy public figures are calling on voters to boycott the March presidential election, saying it amounts to a "farce"
A coalition of eight Egyptian opposition parties and some 150 pro-democracy public figures are calling on voters to boycott the March presidential election, saying it amounts to a "farce" or "absurdity bordering on madness."

The incumbent, general-turned-president Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, is virtually certain to win the March 26-28 vote, sweeping aside a face-saving would-be candidate whose last-minute participation spared the government the embarrassment of a one-candidate election.

Tuesday's call for a boycott by the Civilian Democratic Movement comes just days after five opposition figures, including a 2012 presidential candidate and two top campaign aides for now-arrested presidential hopeful Sami Annan, called for a boycott of the vote and on Egyptians not to recognize the vote's outcome if it goes ahead.

They said "obstacles to the elections had started early with the spreading of a climate of fear over security and media and government bias."

The five also complained of a "tight timetable which did not give competitors a real chance to present themselves."

The National Election Authority announced on January 8 that the deadline for applications would be January 29.

They requested the elections be halted, and for the authority's work to cease, accusing it of covering up bias.

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