Egypt's ex-army chief of staff announces bid for presidency
21 January, 2018, 00:06 | Author: Katrina Soto
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has announced he will be a candidate in a presidential election due to take place in March.
"I call on civilian and military institutions to maintain neutrality towards everyone who had announced their intention to run and not take unconstitutional sides of a president who will leave his post in a few months", Enan said. The primary results of the first round of the election will be announced on March 29, where decisions on appeals submitted by candidates, if any, will be made.
Sisi made the announcement on Friday during the final day of "Story of a Nation" conference, where he presented his achievements over the past four years, Xinhua news agency reported.
Egypt's National Elections Commission (NEC) started on Saturday receiving the documents that are necessary for presidential hopefuls to submit in order to be allowed to run for office in the upcoming elections.
Other candidates declared their will to run in the 2018 elections, including human rights lawyer Khaled Ali, MP and Zamalek Sporting Club chairman Mortada Mansour. Many of his party's militants and supporters have also been arrested for opposing the current administration.
On January 8, Egypt's National Electoral Commision (NEC) announced the timetable of Egypt's 2018 presidential elections.
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Those challenging Sisi describe a sweeping effort to kill off their campaigns before they have begun, with media attacks on candidates, intimidation of supporters and a nomination process stacked in favour of the former general.
Sisi has promised not to run for a third term, but is likely to cruise to a second term given the clampdown on opponents.
Sisi led the military coup that ousted Egypt's first freely elected president Mohamed Morsi in 2013, after the so-called "Arab Spring" protests forced long-time president Hosni Mubarak to resign.
Sisi's critics say his popularity has been hurt by austerity reforms, security problems, a crackdown on dissidents and his decision to hand two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia, which showered Egypt with billions of dollars of aid, touching a nationalistic nerve.
"We wanted Mr. President to continue with us", Medhat Al-Adl, a famous scriptwriter and poet, said from the podium as people cheered and waved the Egyptian flag and Sisi's portrait.
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