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Lack of ‘equal opportunities’ force Sadat to drop out of Egypt elections

January 15, 2018 at 3:15 pm

Mohamed Anwar Sadat, nephew of late Egyptian president Anwar Sadat [POMED/Twitter]

The nephew of former Egyptian president Anwar Sadat today announced that he will not be running in this year’s presidential elections.

Blaming an environment of fear surround the vote, Mohamed Sadat today said he had been preparing for the elections since he was expelled from government a year ago “however, it seems that all of this was not enough”.

My decision not to run primarily has to do with the climate in which you don’t feel there will be a genuine competition or equal opportunities.

Sadat said he had taken the decision in part to protect his campaign workers from intimidation or arrest.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi took office in a military coup in which he ousted the country’s first democratically elected President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013. An election held the following year, which according to international observers fell short of international standards of democracy, saw Al-Sisi sworn in for a four-year term.

His term ends next number however he is expected to seek re-election although he has yet to announce his candidacy.

Read: As presidential elections loom Sisi moves to control judiciary

Whilst other candidates have stepped forward, with Al-Sisi’s history of quashing opposition and jailing rival political figures, it remains to be seen if they will follow through with their pledges.

Sisi announces date for presidential elections - Cartoon []

Sisi announces date for presidential elections – Cartoon []

One potential candidate is former prime minister Ahmed Shafiq who served under deposed President Hosni Mubarak. Shafiq lost the election after Mubarak’s ousting in 2012, and lived in self-imposed exile in the UAE until this month. After announcing his plan to run in the UAE, he was subsequently deported from the Emirates. The UAE has backed Al-Sisi’s brutal authority with billions of dollars. He has since announced he will not be running.

Human rights lawyer Khaled Ali has also announced that he will take part in the presidential race next year. However, he was subsequently convicted of “violating public decency” for allegedly making an obscene gesture in court, he is appealing the decision. If the verdict is upheld, he could be disqualified from the process.