Sabahi only challenger to Sisi in Egypt’s presidential election

Sabahi only challenger to Sisi in Egypt’s presidential election

PanARMENIAN.Net - Egyptian left-winger Hamdeen Sabahi will be the only challenger to ex-army chief Abdul Fattah al-Sisi in the forthcoming presidential election, BBC News said.

Sabahi, who came third in a 2012 poll, submitted his candidacy on Sunday, April20 the final day of registration. Analysts say Sisi is the favourite to win the presidency. The first round of voting is on 26 and 27 May.

The former field marshal led the overthrow of President Mohammed Morsi last July after mass protests.

Sabahi, a long-time opposition activist, was jailed over a dozen times under previous Egyptian governments. His secular Popular Current party was part of an anti-Morsi alliance called the National Salvation Front. Sabahi gathered 31,100 signatures backing his bid, his campaign team said.

The required number for registration is 25,000. Reports say Sisi gathered 200,000 signatures. Sisi resigned from his post as army chief in March because Egyptian law does not allow soldiers to stand for the presidency.

If no candidate wins more than 50% in the first round of voting, a second will be held in June. If Sisi does become president, he will be the latest in a line of Egyptian rulers drawn from the military, going back to the 1950s - a line only briefly broken during President Morsi's year in office.

Human rights groups say the military-backed authorities have displayed increasing hostility to independent media and to political opponents. Since Morsi's overthrow more than 1,000 people have been killed and thousands of members of Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood been detained by the interim authorities, who have designated the Islamist movement a terrorist group.

Photo: YOUM/Sami Waheeb
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