Egypt to hold 2018 presidential elections in March

Head of the National Election Commission Lasheen Ibrahim speaks during a news conference in Cairo. Khaled Elfiqi  EPA

Egypt will hold a presidential election on March 26-28, with a runoff in April, the chairman of the country's election commission said.

Egyptians living overseas are to cast their votes on March 16-18, he added, with second round ballots on April 19-21 if necessary.

In the case of no run-offs, the victor of the elections will be announced on 2 April, 2018.

A run-off ballot will be held on April 24-26 if necessary, Ibrahim told journalists, with final results to be announced on May 1.

However in the case of a run off, a second round of voting will be held on April 19, 20, and 21 for expats overseas and on 24, 25, and 26 April for voters within Egypt. "Therefore, I have decided not to run in the 2018 presidential elections", Shafiq said in a statement on his Twitter account.

"I saw that I will not be the ideal person to lead the state during the coming period".




A pro-Sisi campaign said in late December that it collected over 12 million signatures of Egyptians, more than 11 percent of the population, supporting Sisi to run for a second presidential term.

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has not yet announced his candidacy for next year's elections.

Shafiq, appointed premier by president Hosni Mubarak shortly before Mubarak was overthrown in 2011, was seen as a main challenger for Sisi.

However, he announced on Sunday his final decision not to run for the presidential elections.

Former Air Force Commander and ex-Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq, who fled Egypt after narrowly losing to Morsi in the 2012 elections, announced from the United Arab Emirates his intention to run for president.

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