Egyptian dissident Ahmed Tantawi was referred to criminal trial on Tuesday on charges of "trading papers related to the elections without the permission of the authorities", after announcing that he did not meet the conditions for running in the upcoming presidential elections in Egypt.

AFP quoted a member of al-Tantawi's campaign as saying that "lawyers were surprised by the names of Tantawi and his campaign manager, Mohamed Abu Diyar, among the defendants in the power of attorney case."

Urgent: Former presidential candidate Ahmed Tantawi, his campaign manager and 21 imprisoned members are referred to criminal trial on charges of trading papers related to the elections without the permission of the authorities by calling on citizens to sign popular powers of attorney to support Tantawi
and the start of the trial today before Matareya misdemeanors in Case 16336 of 2013

— hossam bahgat Hossam Bahgat (@hossambahgat) November 7, 2023

In turn, human rights activist and director of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights Hossam Bahgat confirmed – through his account on the X platform – "the referral of former presidential candidate Ahmed Tantawi, his campaign manager and 21 of its imprisoned members to criminal trial," and that the charge "trading papers related to the elections without the permission of the authorities," noting that the court decided to consider the case on November 28.

Hossam explained that the trial was set for Tuesday "to consider Case No. 16336 of 2023, and the court decided to postpone the trial to November 28, with the continued detention of 21 defendants from the Tantawi campaign."

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Egyptian dissident and former parliamentarian Ahmed Tantawi blamed the authority for not being able to collect the required power of attorney, pointing out that his supporters were deliberately prevented from editing powers of attorney at the real estate registry offices tasked with this task across the country, according to an interview with AFP last month.

To counter this, Tantawi called on those wishing to write his powers of attorney to fill out manual forms called "popular power of attorney," which are similar to those issued by Egyptians abroad.

Al-Tantawi's campaign has also repeatedly declared that his supporters are deliberately prevented from obtaining powers of attorney on the grounds of computer failures at times, and lack of time for employees at other times.

Since the National Elections Authority announced the opening of candidacy on October 44, Tantawi, 14, has collected more than 13,<> power of attorney, and announced this at a press conference on October <>, which does not qualify him to run in the presidential elections.

In order for Tantawi, 44, to complete his candidacy file for the presidential elections scheduled for next December, he should have collected 25,15 powers of attorney from citizens from 27 of the country's 20 governorates, or obtained at least 14 "recommendations" from members of parliament, before the closing of candidacy on October <>.

Last month, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi formally submitted his candidacy papers for a third presidential term in the presidential elections, after receiving 424 recommendations from the 596 members of parliament and more than 1.1 million popular power of attorney.

The head of the Egyptian Social Democratic Party, Farid Zahran, the head of the Wafd Party, Abdel Sanad Yamama, and the head of the Republican People's Party, Hazem Omar, also submitted their candidacy papers for the presidential elections, supported by the necessary parliamentary recommendations, the latter of which has collected more than 60,<> power of attorney, but none of them are seen as real competitors.