Presidential Elections: Developments in Mali and Egypt
Mali Delays Presidential Elections
Mali’s military junta has announced a postponement of the presidential elections, initially scheduled for February, due to technical reasons. These reasons include a dispute with a French firm over a civil registry database and issues related to the implementation of a new constitution, which was adopted in a referendum on June 18. The junta has committed to announcing a new timeline for the elections, which were aimed at restoring Mali to constitutional rule after military coups in August 2020 and May 2021.
The military junta had previously committed to holding these elections in February following pressure from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), leading to the regional bloc lifting trade and financial sanctions imposed on Mali in January 2022. These sanctions were implemented when the military government was considering remaining in power for up to five years.
Egypt’s Presidential Elections Confirmed
In contrast, Egypt’s National Elections Authority has confirmed the presidential elections in the country will take place from December 10-12, with results expected to be announced on December 23. In the event of a run-off round, the final results would be declared on January 16.
Incumbent President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who has been in power since 2014, is expected to win despite the country’s challenging economic conditions. Several politicians have announced their intention to run for the presidency. However, none of them is considered serious contenders against el-Sisi.
Challengers for Egypt’s Presidential Race
Among the candidates who have announced their bids are Farid Zahran, Abdel-Sanad Yamama, and Gameela Ismail. Opposition politician Ahmed al-Tantawi has also announced his intention to run and has accused security agencies of arresting his supporters.
El-Sisi, a former army chief, has won the 2014 and 2018 elections with a 97 percent vote. In 2018, he faced only one opponent who was a strong supporter of el-Sisi. Other candidates withdrew their bids, alleging intimidation. Due to constitutional amendments in 2019, el-Sisi is eligible to run for a third term. These amendments have also extended the duration of presidential terms from four to six years, potentially allowing el-Sisi to remain in office until at least 2030.
The developments in both Mali and Egypt are significant as they highlight the differing political landscapes and challenges faced by these two African nations. While Mali’s military junta grapples with technical issues and regional pressure for a return to democracy, Egypt’s elections seem poised for a predictable outcome with el-Sisi’s expected victory. As these events unfold, they will undoubtedly have profound implications for the political futures of both countries and the broader African continent.
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