There were already so many, and their number keeps growing: Since Tuesday, the number of members of the Egyptian Parliament who are supporting the candidacy of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in the presidential race in March—which he has not yet formally announced, but is sure to do so—has risen from 466 to 510 out of a total of 596. Egyptian law requires those who want to run for the presidency to have the signatures of 20,000 citizens in support, as well as the backing of 20 deputies.
Only 86 of the latter are yet to declare whom they will support, so it certainly doesn’t look like it will be a crowded field of candidates. One of those who have complained that the law is “too restrictive” is Mohamed al Sadat, the nephew of former president Anwar and himself a potential candidate—if only the climate wasn’t so “discouraging.” Sadat has not yet been able to present his proposed program to the press.
Khaled Ali, the candidate of the Left, has the same problem, in addition to an initial conviction for “obscene gestures.” His appeal will be on March 7, and if his sentence is confirmed, he will be arrested and lose the right to run in the elections.