Member of Tawfiq Okasha’s party to be first official presidential candidate

The first presidential hopeful submitted his completed candidacy documents to the Presidential Elections Commission on Tuesday.

Ahmed Mohamed Awad Ali told Al-Masry Al-Youm that he registered to represent the Egypt National Party in the race.

Hatem Bagato, the commission’s secretary general, confirmed that Ali was the first candidate to submit completed papers and be registered to compete in the election.

Ali was born in 1962 and is the director of the Upper Egypt Islamic and Coptic monuments department.

He is a member of the Egypt National Party, which was founded by late MP Talaat al-Sadat.

The party has six seats in the People’s Assembly.

According to the Presidential Elections Law, any political party represented in Parliament with at least one seat can nominate one member to run for president.

Other presidential hopefuls who are not the representatives of a political party holding a seat in Parliament are required to either be endorsed by 30 members of Parliament or have signatures from 30,000 citizens.

After the death of MP Sadat, internal divisions within the party erupted regarding whether Effat al-Sadat or TV presenter Tawfiq Okasha would become head of the party.

The latter is a controversial media figure who owns Faraeen TV channel, using it as a tool to praise Egypt’s military rulers and criticize revolutionary forces.

Ali, who belongs to Okasha’s front within the party, may be challenged by the Effat al-Sadat’s supporters within the party.

Sayyed Mahrous, a member of the party’s supreme authority, submitted a request a few days ago demanding that he be the party’s nominee for president. However, Sadat then declared that the party hadn’t yet chosen a presidential candidate.

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