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Egyptians To Choose Their Next President on Monday

Cairo (March 24, 2018): Egyptians will choose their next president in elections starting Monday, with President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi expected to easily secure a second four-year term.

Some 60 million people in Egypt, the most populated Arab country, are registered to vote in three days of polling on March 26, 27, and 28.

They will have the choice between the incumbent and one other candidate: Moussa Mostafa Moussa, a little-known politician who registered right before the close date for applications, saving the election from being a one-horse race.

In the 2014 election, Sisi faced Hamdeen Sabbahi, an established left-wing politician much better known than Moussa. Still, Sisi won 96.9 percent of the vote.

Sisi, the fifth president to hail from the military since the monarchy was overthrown in 1952, was elected president a year after leading the military ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi, amid mass protests against him.Morsi, who hailed from the Muslim Brotherhood, became Egypt´s first democratically elected president in 2012, in the first vote after Mubarak´s ouster.

But after year of divisive rule mass protests took place against him across the country, and Sisi, then head of the army, announced his ouster after an ultimatum for Morsi to call early elections.

Hundreds of Morsi´s supporters were killed in the August 2013 dispersal of two protest camps in Cairo, and thousands were arrested — including Morsi himself — and sent to mass trial in procedures condemned by the United Nations.

A year later, a popular Sisi was elected as president, with the initial crackdown on Morsi´s supporters expanded to include liberal and leftist secular activists.

According to Reporters Without Borders, 30 journalists are currently imprisoned in Egypt. Nearly 500 websites are also blocked, while art is subject to rising censorship.

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