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Egypt's President Sisi announces bid for re-election

Sisi is widely expected win in the first round, to be held in March [Getty]

Date of publication: 19 January, 2018

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Egypt's President Sisi, who came to power in a military coup, has announced his candidacy for re-election when the first round of polls open in March.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has announced he will be a candidate in a presidential election due to take place in March.

"I announce to you in the honesty and transparency which we are used to... my candidacy for the post of president of the republic," Sisi said at a conference in Cairo on Friday, broadcast live on state television.

Sisi is widely expected win in the first round, which is to be held from March 26 to 28.

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

A second round - if required - would be held on April 24 and 26.

President Sisi came to power in a military coup that overthrew Egypt's first democratically-elected President Mohamad Morsi in 2013. 

Although Sisi - then field marshal - initially claimed to be disinterested in the trappings of power, he soon back-tracked on the decision and said he would run for president.

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 announced his candidacy on Friday during the final segment of a three-day conference named "Story of a Nation" which showcased his accomplishments during his first term.

He said he had "done all I could".

"Regardless of who your vote will be for, all that I wish of you (is that you) show the world your participation in the elections and choose whoever you wish to," said Sisi.

The conference saw ministers and members of the public discuss issues including completed infrastructure projects, the military's counter-terrorism efforts, foreign policy and the war on drugs.

Who will stand?

Former Egyptian premier Ahmed Shafiq has announced he will not stand, reversing a pledge to challenge Sisi at the polls.

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. He is believed to have been placed under house arrest since he returned.

"I have decided to not run in the upcoming 2018 presidential elections," Shafiq said in a statement posted online.

"I saw that I will not be the best person."

On Monday, Mohamed Anwar Sadat, a dissident and nephew of Egypt's late president of the same name, announced he would not run in the poll because the climate was not right for free elections.

Other potential candidates include Khaled Ali, a rights lawyer and 2012 presidential candidate who challenged the government over Egypt's controversial transfer of two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia.

It remains unclear whether he will stand, as he was sentenced in absentia in September to three months in jail on accusations of "offending public decency", a ruling he appealed.

Ali said only the committee organising the election could decide whether that disqualified him as a candidate.

Separately, military Colonel Ahmed Konsowa was sentenced by a military court in December to six years in jail after he announced his intention to stand.

The head of Egypt's Zamalek football club, Mortada Mansour, said on Saturday he would put forward his candidacy.

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