Egypt's first multi-candiate presidental election campaign kicks off
Egypt's presidential election campaign officially began on Wednesday in preparation for the nation's first national multi-candidate elections due to be held on September 7.
The campaign is the first of its kind, incorporating a host of advertising methods to promote the various candidates who will be running against current Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak.
Information Minister Anas Al-Fiqqi explained that each candidate will be allotted broadcasting time on radio and television stations in which candidates will have the opportunity to present personal statements regarding their plans for the country if elected.
Mubarrak, in his fourth presidential term, is expected to present his proposed reform measures for the nation, including an improved health insurance program and plans to raise the standard of living for Egypt's 77.5 million citizens.
Mubarak's announcement, however, is not expected to be aired via public media outlets, but rather exclusively on a private television channel, according to KUNA. Mubarak's main competitor in the race, Nuaman Jummah, chairman of the opposition Al-Wafd party, is planning to reach voters through personal visits, campaign posters, internet messages and short documentaries promoting his campaign.
Meanwhile, Al-Takaful party candidate Osama Shaltout's campaign will reportedly make use primarily of technological means to promote his campaign, sending around 2000 cellular phone messages and 12,000 internet messages daily to voters.
Campaign promotion for candidate Ayman Nour of the Al-Ghad party, on the other hand,will be based primarily on direct contact with the Egyptian citizenry.
The atmosphere in Egypt in light of the upcoming monumental election has been described as a "fierce battle".
© 2005 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)