Egypt Presidential Elections On Schedule, Candidates Debate
On Wednesday, Benha Administrative Court ruled that the Egyptian presidential elections, scheduled for May 23 and 24, had to be suspended because the Supreme Presidential Electoral Commission (SPEC) did not have the authority to tell voters to cast ballots on those days. On Thursday, the head of the Benha Court, Hatem Ammer, clarified that this did not mean halting the elections, but “rather makes the Supreme Presidential Electoral Commission call to vote illegitimate, since it’s SCAF’s authority to make this call.” The SPEC disregarded the administrative court’s decision and said the upcoming elections would be held on schedule.
Egypt’s first presidential debate is scheduled , as front-runners Abdel Moneim Abouel Fotouh will debate former foreign minister Amr Moussa. The Guardian has a live updated blog of the event. Meanwhile, Ahram Online notes that Friday marks the start for expat voters abroad.
Finally, Shadi Hamid writes about his meeting with presidential candidate Abouel Fotouh. Hamid describes Abouel Fotouh’s campaign as a big-tent movement that enjoys a range of support, including young liberals such as Google executive Wael Ghonim and conservatives like the Salafi al-Nour party. Hamid notes that part of Abouel Fotouh’s success is his ability to bridge the religious divide, when he notes that liberals and leftists also respect Islamic values.