Renowned journalist Diaa Rashwan won the presidency of Egypt’s Press Syndicate in the mid-term election held on Friday, according to a committee supervising the election, headed by Gamal Abdel Rahim.
Rashwan received 2,810 votes while his closest competitor Refaat Rashad, board member of Akhbar Al-Youm, had 1,585 votes.
Despite the fact that the number of candidates running for the seat of the syndicate’s president was eleven, but the competition was mainly between Rashwan and Rashad, due to their popularity in the press milieu.
Abdel Raheem said that the total turnout reached 4,588 journalists, while invalid votes were 235.
“My colleagues in the general assembly, thank you very much for this unprecedented presence in any election. This stage is serious in the history of the profession,” Rashwan said.
Rashwan, who led the syndicate from 2013 to 2015, currently heads the State Information Service, and it is still unclear whether he is going to continue in the position or not.
During his electoral campaign, he vowed to improve the financial conditions of journalists and increase their monthly technology allowance, saying he received governmental approval to increase the allowance by 25%– starting from July–to reach EGP 2,100, and promised to increase pensions as well, currently set at EGP 1,450, by 20%.
Khaled El-Merri, Hisham Younis, Mahmoud Kamel, Hammad Al-Ramahi, and Mohamad Youssef won six seats in the syndicate’s board. A total of 51 candidates were competing for the six seats. El-Merri, Younis, and Kamel are already members of the syndicate’s current board and will continue for another term.
The midterm election of the syndicate over the president and six board seats was postponed to 15 March after the general assemble failed to achieve the quorum of more than 75% of members on 1 March.