The wacky race: The road to the Egyptian Presidential elections in 2024

A protestor waving the Egyptian flag during the protests in Tahrir Square, Cairo. February 8, 2011. Picture by Jonathan Rashad via Wikimedia Commons. Used under a CC BY 3.0 license.

This story, was originally published on July 9, 2023, by Egyptian Chronicles, a personal blog since 2004. An edited version is republished here with permission.

Although we do not know when the upcoming Egyptian presidential election will be held, it is currently scheduled for February 2024. Article 140 of the constitution stipulates that:

The procedures for electing the President of the Republic shall be initiated at least one hundred twenty days prior to the end of the presidential term. The result must be announced at least thirty days prior to the end of such term.

Nevertheless, events over the past two weeks have provided an indication of how unconventional and “wacky” this particular election edition will be. Here is an update on the individuals who have announced their candidacy for the next election in the past few weeks.

Al-Wafd Party candidate(s)

Dr. Abdel Sanad Yamama. Screenshot from a video by Al Hayat TV Network. Fair use.

Al-Wafd Party, Egypt’s oldest political party, made an announcement on June 18 that its current leader, Abdel Sanad Yamama, would be a candidate in the upcoming election against incumbent President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi.

However, the usual internal fights of Al-Wafd have found their way to the presidential elections. Veteran members of the party, including those in its high committee, which allegedly supported Yamama's candidacy by an overwhelming majority, opposed the decision.

This revelation uncovers an intriguing fact: the high committee of the Al-Wafd party did not convene at all and was not summoned to any meeting to select its candidate for the elections. This information was confirmed by veteran members, including former Al-Wafd leader Mahmoud Abaza who stated: “Abedel Sanad Yamama is not allowed to make the decision to run for the presidency on his own.”

Fouad Badrawi. Screenshot from a video by Al Qahira 24. Fair use.

A few days later, Fouad Badrawi, a veteran leading member of Al-Wafd, announced his candidacy for the presidency. He called for a meeting of the High Committee to decide between him and Yamama, asserting his right to do so.

And so, the official nomination for the upcoming election is still uncertain and yet to be revealed. 

The Republican People's Party's ticket

Ahmad Abou Hashima, along with his ex-wife Yasmin Sabri, a prominent Egyptian actress, is consistently at the center of media gossip. A screenshot from a video by influencer Reem Khalil. Fair use.

There is a party called the Republican People's Party (RPP), commonly known to those who are keen to follow politics as “Abou Hashima's Party,” in reference to Egyptian tycoon, controversial public figure, and Senator Ahmed Abou Hashima. He is a member of the Egyptian Senate and serves as the Head of the Senate Youth and Sports Committee.

Despite being founded in September 2012 by former government officials, governors, and ministers, including former members of the National Democratic Party, the RPP gained significant media attention when Ahmad Abou Hashima  joined as its vice president in March 2020, which explains why people refer to it as Abou Hashima's Party.

The RPP is led by Hazem Omar, who was appointed as a senator in the Senate by President El-Sisi in October 2020. Currently, he holds the position of the head of the foreign relations committee in the Senate, and has a degree in Engineering. 

Despite being unknown publicly, RPP managed to secure 58 seats in the House of Representatives and 17 seats in the Senate in the latest elections in 2020.

The RPP describes itself as a liberal-left centrist party, advocating for “taking all measures necessary to protect vulnerable classes from economic liberalization and privatization policies.” Abou Hashima's affiliation with the party is perceived as kind of ironic due to his wealth and the constant social controversies he sparks.

Senator Hazem Omar. Screenshot from a video by Sada ElBalad. Fair use.

In a recent development, the Higher Council of the Republican People's Party has unanimously selected Chairman Hazem Omar as the party's official candidate for the upcoming presidential election in Egypt in 2024.

The Independence Current Coalition 

The cherry on top of the upcoming presidential elections in Egypt is the announcement that Ahmed El-Fadaly will be running on behalf of both the Independence Current Coalition and the Democratic Peace Party.

Ahmad El-Fadaly. A screenshot from a video by Sada ElBalad. Fair use.

El-Fadaly is a controversial figure who has been accused of mobilizing thugs to support the Mubarak regime during the Battle of the Camel in Tahrir Square in February 2011.

There is video evidence of El-Fadaly's involvement in the battle, but he has denied the accusations, claiming that he was the victim of a smear campaign: 

ِEl- Fadaly claimed that he participated in the presidential elections of 2005, which were known for having multiple candidates. However, his name is not on the final list of presidential candidates.

The Democratic Peace Party's platform is vague and uninspiring, and it is unclear how El-Fadaly plans to save Egypt from the poverty it is currently suffering from.

The Child of the East

Emad Sadallah with his suggested flag. Photo shot from one of his TikTok videos. Fair use.

If El-Fadaly is the cherry on top of the upcoming presidential elections, Emad Saadallah is living proof that it is wacky. 

Saadalla is a man in his early 50s. He claims to be a top international plastic surgeon who works in Dubai. However, there is no evidence that this is true. 

He announced his intention to run for the presidential office through platforms like Twitter and TikTok.  Additionally, he openly expresses support for Israel's colonialist policies and advocates for a change in the Egyptian flag, proposing a design that features a red background with a golden key of life.

Saadalla claims to be the long-awaited “Child of the East” mentioned in both the Bible and the Book of Revelations. This designation was predicted by American psychic Jeanne Dixon, known for her numerous future predictions. Dixon specifically foretold the birth of a child, referred to as the “Child of the East,” in the Middle East during the 20th century, who would have a profound impact on the world. According to her prophecies, this child would rise as a spiritual leader, unifying people of diverse faiths, bringing about global peace, and ultimately making a sacrificial stand for their beliefs.

So far, these are the candidates. However, there is still time for more surprises. The current political climate in Egypt doesn't permit fair and free elections. Nonetheless, as the elections draw near, the Egyptian people are preoccupied with the question of who will become their next president and how his policies will impact their lives.

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