Cairo (Agenzia Fides) - The Coptic Orthodox Church is increasing appeals and initiatives to remind its faithful of the "national duty" to participate in the upcoming Egyptian presidential elections, scheduled from 26 to 28 March. A message from the Coptic Orthodox Church in support of popular participation in the upcoming elections was also published by the Egyptian media, while in dioceses like that of Shubra al Khaymah "Citizenship Committees" organize political and social awareness meetings on the "challenges of Egypt".
Also the Bishops take part in meetings and conferences to underline the necessity and civic duty of not deserting the polls.
The presidential elections, according to the opinion of all observers, will represent a plebiscite for current President Abdel Fattah al Sisi, who is running for the second term. Al Sisi has practically no rivals: there is only one other candidate, Moussa Mostafa Moussa, a politician close to al Sisi, who delivered the documents and signatures to the electoral offices only a quarter of an hour before the time for the presentation of the candidates expired. The Egyptian media also re-launched the statements on the electoral appointment released in a recent interview with Vatican Radio by Archbishop Bruno Musarò, Apostolic Nuncio to the Arab Republic of Egypt. "People - said the pontifical representative "certainly support the current President. People have great confidence, and were disappointed by the experience they had in 2013 with the government of the Muslim Brotherhood. Also on behalf of the Church", added Archbishop Musarò "both the Orthodox Copts and also the Catholics ... the Bishops do not directly say 'go and vote al Sisi', but they highlight what al Sisi is doing in favor of the people. This does not mean that there are also no complaints and poverty, but we must say that efforts are being made to try to create an environment of greater wellbeing for the population". (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 14/3/2018)