Egypt beefs up security for presidential polls

Next week’s poll will see incumbent President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi face off against leader of small liberal party
CAIRO: Egypt’s Interior Ministry has declared a state of “high alert” in the run-up to presidential polls slated for next week, a local security source told Anadolu Agency on Wednesday.
According to the source, Interior Minister Magdi Abdel Ghaffar has instructed security agencies to maintain a state of high alert with a view to securing more than 11,000 polling stations and offices nationwide.
The same source, speaking anonymously due to restrictions on talking to media, said that all vacations for police officers and security personnel had been cancelled until the polling was over.
The interior minister, the source added, had also ordered authorities to reinforce army checkpoints across the country and step up security at Egypt’s border crossings.
Slated for March 26 to 28, the polls will see incumbent President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi face off against Musa Mustafa Musa, the leader of a little-known liberal party.
Most observers expect al-Sisi to win by a landslide.
In the weeks leading up to the election, several would-be presidential contenders — including a popular ex-army chief — were effectively sidelined.
A former defense minister, al-Sisi spearheaded a 2013 military coup that unseated Egypt’s first freely elected president and Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Morsi.–AA

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