A dissatisfied young population with not enough opportunities, a high inflation, economic instability and a restrictive political rule were the fundamental causes for the Arab Spring spreading to Egypt in 2011. This civil unrest in turn led to the deposition of Hosni Mubarak, the fourth president of Egypt and its military ruler since 1981. In the wake of the Arab Spring, the Egyptian people elected Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood as their fifth President, breaking with the tradition of military dictatorship that had lasted since 1952. However, Morsi’s presidency only lasted from June 2012 to July 2013, ending once again in protests on the streets against his government’s failure to change Egypt’s dictatorial structures and attempts to increase presidential power by weakening the authority of the Egyptian parliament.
A new presidential election in 2014 put the commander-in-chief of the Egyptian armed forces, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, in power. In March 2018 he is up for re-election as president. The Egyptian Presidential Elections Commission oversees the process of application and approval of presidential candidates. According to Article 141 of the Egyptian constitution, candidates must fulfill the following requirements, among others: They must hold the Egyptian nationality, they must be older than 40, they must have served in the armed forces, own at least a bachelor’s degree, and they must be mentally and physically healthy enough for presidential duties, with no criminal record.
According to Article 142, candidates need to be endorsed by either a minimum of 20 elected parliamentarians from the House of Representatives, 25,000 Egyptian citizens with voting rights, or at least 1,000 supporters across 15 Egyptian governorates.
The only eligible candidate for the 2018 presidential election aside from President el-Sisi is Moussa Mostafa Moussa, the leader of the Al-Ghad party.
The last presidential election in Egypt in 2018 scored a six by the Freedomhouse ranking, meaning it was high risk and not free. In recent decades Egypt has experienced a steady rise in population, reflected in its increased electoral roll. The turnout for Egyptian presidential elections has historically been low, but has increased since the Arab Spring.