El-Sisi is set to win the upcoming vote after most serious contenders were arrested or forced to withdraw [Sean Gallup/Getty Images]
Egyptian MPs are debating a proposal to give students extra credit for partaking in upcoming elections amid expectations of a low turnout in this month’s presidential election.
The idea was put forward by legislator Dina Abdel Aziz on a talk show late February but has garnered support as the presidential vote nears.
Abdel Aziz said the idea would “encourage young people to participate in political life,” adding at the time that it was “just an idea”.
Egypt’s last presidential election, which President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi won with 97 percent of votes cast, suffered from low turnout, with less than half the population heading to the polls.
A higher turnout in this election would be seen as strengthening the legitimacy of the contest, which has seen key rivals to el-Sisi forced to pull out of the race.
The former head of Egypt’s armed forces, Sami Anan, withdrew his candidacy when he was arrested shortly after announcing his intention to run in January.
Former Prime Minister and commander-in-chief of the Egyptian air force, Ahmed Shafik, was also forced to withdraw from the race after announcing his candidacy.
Given the lack of serious opposition, many analysts have dismissed the election as a show.
Only one candidate remains in the race, Musa Mustafa Musa, a supporter of el-Sisi’s 2013 coup, which brought down Egypt’s first democratically elected president, Mohamed Morsi.
Musa has insisted that his candidacy, which was filed 15 minutes before the deadline for nominations ended, is genuine.
Voting is due to take place between March 26 and March 28.