Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FOCUS

Video: Far right at the gates of power in Austria

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

FRANCE 24 turns 10: A look behind the scenes

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Gambia's Yahya Jammeh concedes defeat in presidential polls

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Gambians herald 'new independence' after Jammeh defeat

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Hollande, the One Term President (part 1)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Trump Keeps 'Em Guessing, Italian Referendum, Austrian Election, Castro's Death (part 2)

Read more

FASHION

Discovering the winter 2016/2017 men's fashion collections in Paris

Read more

ENCORE!

Rendez-vous on '42nd Street' as the meta musical comes to Paris

Read more

REPORTERS

Uzbekistan reinforces its tight grip on election and country

Read more

Africa

Left-wing politician declares bid for Egypt’s presidency

© AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-02-09

Hamdeen Sabahi, a prominent left-wing politician in Egypt, announced on Sunday that he will run in the country’s upcoming presidential elections, enlivening a race that army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is widely expected to win.

Sabahi came third in the 2012 election won by Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, who was deposed by the army in July following mass protests against his rule.

“My personal decision as a citizen is to run for the coming presidential elections,” Sabahi said in a public address to supporters. “Hamdeen Sabahi’s battle is the battle of the revolution.”

Sabahi, 59, built up a large following during his past run for the presidency, using a popular touch to beat opponents with better funded campaigns.

The dearth of candidates ahead of this year’s vote provides a stark contrast to 2012, which was the country’s first free election.

Abdel Moneim Abol Fotouh, a moderate Islamist who ran for the presidency two years ago, has said he does not plan to enter the race, saying the current circumstances are neither free nor democratic.

Members of his party were detained in January while campaigning against a new constitution passed in a referendum.

Since Morsi was deposed, hundreds of his supporters have been killed and thousands arrested in a state crackdown on the Brotherhood, Egypt’s best organised party until last year.

Some of Egypt’s best known secular dissidents have also been jailed in recent months for protesting without permission.

Sisi, 59, seems certain to win the election, though he has yet to formally declare his candidacy.

He is popular among many Egyptians who were relieved to see the end of Morsi’s rule and who see him as the kind of strong leader needed to stabilise a country in crisis.

He has been lionised by state and privately owned media.

Hassan Nafaa, a professor of political science at Cairo University, said Sabahi’s decision could encourage more candidates to run, adding that a more competitive vote would bolster a Sisi presidency.

“It is in his favour to win by 60 percent rather than 90 percent,” Nafaa said.

The election is expected as early as April.

(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS)

Date created : 2014-02-08

  • EGYPT

    Egyptians approve constitution as army chief Sisi eyes presidency

    Read more

  • EGYPT

    Test for Sisi as Egypt votes on new constitution

    Read more

  • EGYPT

    Egypt’s army chief al-Sisi ‘may run for president’

    Read more

COMMENT(S)