By Mohamed al-Rayye
The Addis Ababa-based African Union will send 40 observers to monitor next week’s presidential election in Egypt, according to Egyptian state media.
Led by Abdoulaye Diop, the former foreign minister of Mali, the observers are expected to arrive in Cairo this Saturday.
Slated for March 26 to 28, the polls will see incumbent President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi face off against Musa Mustafa Musa, the leader of a small liberal party.
Most observers expect al-Sisi to win by a landslide.
In the weeks leading up to the election, several would-be presidential contenders -- including a popular ex-army chief -- were sidelined by the al-Sisi regime.
A former defense minister, al-Sisi led a 2013 military coup that unseated Mohamed Morsi, Egypt's first freely elected president and a Muslim Brotherhood leader.
Al-Sisi later secured the presidency in a 2014 election in which he clinched 97 percent of the vote, according to Egypt’s electoral commission.