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Anwar Sadat's nephew pulls out of Egypt presidential election Open in fullscreen

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Anwar Sadat's nephew pulls out of Egypt presidential election

Egypt's presidential elections take place in March. [Getty]

Date of publication: 15 January, 2018

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Sadat said he had concerns for the safety of his campaign team at a time when elections were to be held with Egypt under a state of emergency.

Mohammed Anwar Sadat, the nephew of Egypt's late president of the same name, said on Monday that he will not run in this year's presidential poll because he believes the political climate was not right for free elections.

"I don't feel - and I am not assured - that the elections will be held in the form that we were hoping for... Therefore, we will not enter a losing battle," the former legislator and dissident told reporters in Cairo.

Sadat said he had concerns for the safety of his campaign team at a time when elections were to be held with Egypt under a state of emergency.

He was expelled from parliament in a February 2017 vote for allegedly leaking the draft of a controversial NGO law to foreign embassies.

Sadat was also accused of forging MPs' signatures on a bill he had presented, accusations he denied.

Despite not yet having announced his own candidacy in the presidential race, incumbent Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is widely expected to stand and win in the first round, which is to be held 26 to 28 March.

Campaigning begins on 24 February and will last until 23 March.

Former army chief Sisi was elected in 2014, a year after leading the military to oust his predecessor Mohamed Morsi.

On 7 January, former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq, once seen as a main challenger to Sisi, also said he would not be a candidate, reversing a previous pledge to stand.

Shafiq's decision to scrap his candidacy came after he was deported from the UAE, where he had been living in exile since 2012, back to Egypt last month.

The head of Egypt's Zamalek football club, Mortada Mansour, said on Saturday he would be standing.

Other potential candidates include Khaled Ali, a rights lawyer and 2012 presidential candidate, and military Colonel Ahmed Konsowa.

In December, a military court sentenced Konsowa to six years in jail after he announced his intention to stand.

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