Muwafi announces he will not run against Sisi
Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi - REUTERS/Egyptian Ministry of Defence

CAIRO: Former Director of Egyptian General Intelligence Murad Muwafi announced Sunday that he will not run for president against former Defense Minister Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, Youm7 reported.

Muwafi added that he will support Sisi in the elections, and said Egypt needs a “strong candidate” who is aware of the state and citizens’ needs, Youm7 reported.

He had stated in the press earlier that he was awaiting Sisi’s decision before announcing whether he would run. Rumors had abounded speculating Muwafi would run and that several political factions would support him, if Sisi decided not to run for elections.

The Supreme Presidential Electoral Commission announced during its conference Sunday that candidate registration would begin Monday, the election process would begin May 15 for expats, the first round of presidential elections would be held May 26 and 27, and results would be announced June 5.

Hamdeen Sabbahi’s presidential campaign spokesperson Masoum al-Marzouqi told state television Saturday that Sabbahi is prepared for a televised debate with Sisi.

Sisi announced that he would run for president in a speech broadcast on state television on March 26. Most recently, Mortada Mansour, president of the Zamalek soccer club, announced his intention to run in the presidential elections, in an interview on Al-Nahar TV early Monday.

Other prospective candidates have decided not to run. Former chief of staff of the Armed Forces Samy Anan announced he will not run during a press conference on March 13.

Former presidential candidate Ahmed Shafiq also announced on his Twitter account on March 20 he will not run for president and he supports Sisi.

Lawyer and activist Khaled Ali also announced he would not run at a press conference March 16, calling the elections a “farce,” adding, “it’s not acceptable for a Minister of Defense to run for the presidency.”

Ali called for military leaders to stay out of politics, and to “open the door for democracy.”

Additional reporting by Mahmoud Saad el-Din, Abdel Halim Salem, Abdel Wahab al-Gindy, Hanan Fayed, Rany Mostafa, Muhammad Ghamrawy and Mahmoud Mostafa.

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