Egyptian opposition figure denounces presidential elections, will not run

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Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi

Cairo : A renowned Egyptian opposition figure and former MP on Monday announced he no longer intended to take part in the presidential election in March, stating he did not consider it an honest competition.

Mohamed Anwar al-Sadat, the leader of the Party for Reform and Development and nephew of assassinated President Anwar al-Sadat, called a press conference in which argued that several government agencies had already begun campaigning for the incumbent, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, Efe news agency reported.

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“I preferred not to be a symbolic candidate or part of a play unless there are clear foundations and guarantees for the integrity and impartiality of state institutions and evidence confirming the activation of said guarantees,” al-Sadat said, according to a statement released by his party.

He also complained that official state media had launched “unjustified” attacks against all serious candidates.

The former parliamentarian claimed it was evident that members of his campaign could face repercussions for participating if the elections were held under the current state of emergency and with restrictions on the right to demonstrate and peacefully assemble.

However, al-Sadat asked all voters to not boycott the elections and exercise their right to vote to build a better future for Egypt.

President al-Sisi, who won 96.9 percent of the vote in the May 2014 election, has not yet announced his candidacy for re-election.

Egypt’s presidential election is to be held on March 26-28, and if no candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote, a second round would be organized in April.

Al-Sadat was expelled from parliament in February last year, accused of having leaked information to foreign entities and of having tarnished the reputation of the legislative assembly.

The opposition figure’s grandfather, Anwar al-Sadat, was assassinated in 1981 after signing the Camp David peace agreement with Israel.

—IANS

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