Left-Wing Outsider to Run for Egypt President
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Hamdeen Sabahi, a left-wing Egyptian politician, announced that he will be running for president in the forthcoming election.
Field Marshal Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, the army chief, is widely expected to contest and win the race, scheduled for mid-April, although he is yet to announce his candidacy.
Sabahi, 59, came third in the 2012 presidential election won by Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood, who was deposed by the army in July.
"My personal decision as a citizen is to run for the coming presidential elections," Sabahi said in a public address to supporters on Saturday, Al Jazeera reported.
"Hamdeen Sabahi's battle is the battle of the revolution."
Sabahi built a big following during his campaign for the 2012 election, using a popular touch to beat candidates with better funded campaigns.
The dearth of candidates in advance of this election provides a stark contrast to the 2012 vote, the first time Egyptians were allowed to freely choose their head of state.
Abdel Moneim Abol Fotouh, a moderate Islamist who came fourth in that vote, has said he does not plan to run, 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 Mursi 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.