Presidential hopeful Khaled Ali calls for new electoral law to ensure fair elections

At a news conference on Tuesday, Egyptian presidential hopeful Khaled Ali proposed an amendment of the electoral law, hoping it would ensure free, transparent elections in 2018.

Ali said that free elections require “real guarantees,” which include lifting the emergency state, and opening up public spaces to allow political activism, as well as calling for the release of imprisoned journalists.

Ali also suggested an extension of the campaigning period preceding poll day to 50 days, and to immediately begin the presidential campaigns following the official bid.

The renown human rights lawyer Ali, announced his presidential bid in November.

Ali said that it is the right of the people to choose their ruler, and that he is currently preparing to launch his election campaign. He added that he would work with authorities to receive guarantees that the integrity of the presidential elections would remain intact.

Prior to the news conference, Ali said that security forces raided the printing house which was to print documents he intended to distribute at the event.

“The security forces seized and confiscated some of the papers and ripped the rest in a repressive attempt to pre-empt the conference, and confirmed the extent of the security state’s lack of any attempt to open the public domain and put forward alternative visions,” Ali said in a post on Facebook.

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is yet to formally announce his candidacy, but remains widely expected to run for and to win a second four-year term.

Ali could be disqualified from the race for allegedly making an “obscene hand gesture” in front of the State Council. A court is yet to rule on his case next month.

Ali is a prominent opposition figure who ran as a presidential candidate in the 2012 elections. Ali finished seventh in the 2012 presidential race, which the former Muslim Brotherhood president won in the runoff elections against Ahmed Shafiq.

Last week, a military court sentenced an army colonel to six years in prison after he announced his intention to run for presidency.

Meanwhile, another potential candidate is former Prime Minister, Ahmed Shafiq, who said he would reconsider his candidacy, after reports emerged from his lawyer and family that he had been kidnapped.


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