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Egyptian opposition back ex-presidential candidate Khaled Ali

Egyptian lawyer Khaled Ali (C) celebrates amid street crowds after Supreme Administrative Court upheld for final session in the case of two Red Sea islands in Cairo, Egypt on 16 January, 2017 [Mohamed El Raai/Anadolu Agency]
Human rights lawyer and former presidential candidate Khaled Ali (C) [Mohamed El Raai/Anadolu Agency]

A number of Egyptian opposition figures and groups announced on Monday their support for human rights lawyer and former presidential candidate Khaled Ali in the upcoming presidential elections which are set to be held in mid-2018.

The announcement came in a joint statement that was signed by seven Egyptian parties, including Al-Dostour which was formed in the wake of the 2011 Uprising; the left-wing Popular Coalition Party; and the Strong Egypt party, led by the former Muslim Brotherhood member Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh.

The statement was also signed by the April 6 Youth Movement and the Revolutionary Socialists group, as well as 115 public figures, most notably former presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabahi, Press Syndicate member Amr Badr, human rights lawyer Negad El Borai and former parliamentarian candidate Gameela Ismail.

Read: Egypt issues NGO law, cracking down on dissent

In their statement, the opposition groups and figures condemned the "attempts to disqualify Khaled Ali from the presidential race by fabricating a flimsy charge against him," in reference to the charge laid against him that he made physical gestures that "violate public morals".

The opposition members stressed that they are pursuing a coordinated mechanism and framework to prepare for the presidential elections against the incumbent Egyptian President, Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi.

Human rights lawyer Khaled Ali previously attempted to run in the 2012 elections but was unsuccessful and ruled out running in the 2014 elections where Al-Sisi won in an apparent landslide.

On Monday, an Egyptian court postponed a hearing into his case to July.

If convicted in the case, Ali could be disqualified from running in the presidential election.

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