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Sisi's only real competitor Khaled Ali withdraws from Egyptian elections Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Sisi's only real competitor Khaled Ali withdraws from Egyptian elections

Sisi is now left with only one competitor in the 2018 elections [Getty]

Date of publication: 24 January, 2018

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Khaled Ali withdrew his candidacy in the Egyptian presidential elections day after the arrest of Sami Anan, who was classed as Sisi's last 'threat'.

Egyptian rights lawyer Khaled Ali announced on Wednesday that he is no longer going to resume with his campaign in the Egyptian presidential elections and is withdrawing from the race.

“We today announce our decision to withdraw from this race, and will not present our candidacy papers”, he said at a news conference.

He added that the conditions in Egypt currently do not call for fair grounds to run in the elections.

This leaves Sisi with only one 'competitor', MP Mortada Mansour who has pledged to ban Facebook as a part of his election campaign.

This comes a day after the last main challenger to Egyptian President Abdelfattah al-Sisi was arrested.

Egypt's army on Tuesday detained ex-military chief of staff Sami Anan over his intention to run for president in upcoming elections, his campaign organisers said.

Anan announced his presidential bid in a video declaration posted on his official Facebook page last week.

His campaign organisers said he was detained after the army summoned him for questioning over his presidential bid.

Sources told The New Arab that dozens of members of Anan's campaign team were also detained.

On Monday, senior exiled Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Nada wrote an open letter on his Facebook account to Anan, listing the outlawed group's conditions for supporting his candidacy.

Anan’s arrest was criticised by rights groups saying it is a part of an ongoing attack against political participation and freedom of speech in Egypt.

“It is clear that the Egyptian authorities are hell-bent on arresting and harassing anyone who stands against President Sisi,” said Najia Bounaim, Amnesty’s North Africa Campaigns Director.

“This is consistent with the Egyptian government’s ongoing efforts to crush dissent and consolidate power by attacking civil society, activists and human rights defenders in the country.”



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