(MENAFN- Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) News report by Mohammad Al-Mutairi
CAIRO, Dec 9 (KUNA) -- Egyptians are gearing up for their country's fifth multicandidate presidential elections to pick a new president for a five-year term, with four mainly rivals competing, mainly incumbent President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi.
The list of candidates also includes Farid Zahran, leader of the Egyptian Social Democratic Party, Abdel-Sanad Yamama, leader of Al-Wafd Party, and Hazem Omar, head of the Republican Peoples' Party.
A total of 11,631 polling stations will be open at youth centers, schools and health facilities nationwide from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm for three days, December 10-12.
The presidential race will be watched by 15,000 judges, and monitored by 14 international organizations, and 62 Egyptian nongovernmental organizations.
As many as 528 visiting and resident reporters representing 115 foreign media organizations, along with 5,218 journalists from 70 local media agencies are covering the electoral process, from election campaigns to results.
Among the observers are representatives from the Arab League, Arab Parliament, African Union Commission and Parliamentary Assembly of the Union for the Mediterranean.
Chairman of the National Elections Authority Hazem Badawi said his agency has already completed all arrangements and preparations for the country's presidential race due on Sunday, with eligible voters to be able to cast their ballots at 11,631 polling stations in 9,373 electoral centers.
The authority has also taken steps to accommodate older voters and voters with disabilities, with electoral instructions being available in Braille, he added.
He vowed that the race would be conducted in a fair and transparent atmosphere in order to genuinely reflect the will of the Egyptian people, citing full judicial oversight as a resonant paradigm in this regard.
Judicial supervision includes the entire electoral process, covering the three days of voting, counting and final ballot results, the election watchdog's chief pointed out.
For his part, Chairman of the State Information Service Diaa Rashwan said the presidential race is of paramount significance, given that it would be a main step towards democratization, party multiplicity and political competitiveness.
He was quoted as saying that state bodies and media organizations have worked hard to create an atmosphere of opening-up, competitiveness and equal opportunities.
He added that his agency has already set up central operating rooms working around the clock during the three days of voting in order to receive any queries and questions from foreign media correspondents regarding the vote.
The Egyptian Ministry of Interior said in a press release that it has worked out a security plan to secure the presidential elections nationwide and to address any looming challenges or incidents. (end) mm
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