Supporters of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi dance on the seventh anniversary of the uprising that ended the 30-year reign of Hosni Mubarak in Tahrir square in Cairo, Egypt January 25, 2018. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany
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President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi is virtually assured of winning a second four-year term.That has raised the distinct possibility that the March 26-28 election will effectively be a single-candidate referendum, similar to those held by autocratic leaders in the decades before the 2011 uprising.Businessmen loyal to Sisi are meanwhile holding signature drives in which poor Egyptians register their support for the president and are given cash or food handouts.Presidential candidates must secure the "recommendations" of at least 20 lawmakers or 25,000 voters in order to get on the ballot.Sisi already has the backing of hundreds of lawmakers, so the signature drives appear to be a largely symbolic undertaking designed to showcase the president's popular support.On Thursday, Salman led a festive procession of hundreds of people from the charity he runs to the local notary office to hand over recommendations for Sisi.
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