by WorldTribune Staff, December 25, 2017
A group of supporters has gathered more than 12 million signatures from Egyptians urging President Abdul Fatah Sisi to seek a second four-year term.
Sisi, who won a landslide victory four years ago after the army, which he led, ousted former Islamist President Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, has yet to formally announce his candidacy for a second term.
Sisi said he will make his decision after gauging popular reaction to a “factsheet” of his achievements due to be publicized next month.
Egypt’s constitution permits its leaders to serve two four-year terms.
Mohammed el-Garhy, the chief coordinator of the group that gathered the signatures, told a news conference on Dec. 24 that “the supreme goal of our campaign is to safeguard the Egyptian state,” alluding to the widespread conviction among Sisi’s supporters that his policies since 2013 have protected Egypt from the chaos seen in fellow Arab countries like Libya, Yemen and Syria.
Since assuming office, Sisi has overseen the expansion of the Suez Canal, called for the construction of new cities, including a new administrative capital east of Cairo, a network of roads and low and middle-income housing projects.
If he does seek re-election, Sisi will have at least one challenger for the presidency. Former Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq, who also ran against Morsi in 2012 and lost, recently announced he would run in 2018.
Shafiq later returned to Egypt from the United Arab Emirates, where he had fled after losing the 2012 election.