For the sake of guaranteeing a democratic and appropriate political atmosphere for the upcoming presidential elections in 2018, the “Presidential Team” initiative called on the current government to follow a number of rules to reach a free and fair electoral atmosphere.
A statement released by the initiative on Saturday invited the government to establish a national authority for elections assigned to undertake a supervisory role over the elections.
Moreover, the initiative demanded a rapid end to the state of emergency currently in force, and the immediate release of all those who are held on charges related to freedom of expression, the so-called “opinion prisoners”.
The Presidential Team initiative was first launched in 2016 by former presidential adviser and planetary scientist Essam Heggy. According to Heggy, the initiative includes several Egyptian revolutionaries who are working on nominating suitable candidates for the 2018 elections.
The Presidential Team further demanded, through their statement, allowing all the candidates for the 2018 presidential elections to carry out conferences with the public without having to get a security license; saying that it is necessary that authorities grant all candidates the opportunity to explain their presidential agenda through the state-run channels, without being subjected to intensive attacks by pro-regime TV and satellite channels.
In the same context, the Presidential Team stressed that the presence of local and international monitoring organizations in the 2018 Presidential elections is a necessity, noting that peaceful change can only be achieved through free and fair elections.
“The team is calling on the government to facilitate the vote-counting operation and to broadcast it live, through the televised media outlets in the presence of representatives of each candidate,” the Presidential Team’s statement read.
Earlier in 2016, Heggy said that the presidential team will consist of people who played their part in igniting the spark for the 25 January Revolution back in 2011; he stated that his role will only be restricted to providing help in the scientific field, adding that no leading role whatsoever will be assigned to him.