By Viola Fahmy
CAIRO (AA) – A former presidential candidate on Tuesday called for boycotting Egypt’s upcoming election, scheduled for late March.
“The upcoming presidential polls will take place without guarantees, nor candidates nor freedoms,” Hamdeen Sabbahi told a press conference in Cairo.
“We will not participate in this farce,” he said, going on to call on voters to boycott the ballot.
He went on to call on all Egypt’s national forces to unite against what he called “the brutal tyranny of the authority.”
Sabbahi, a prominent leftist, had lost the presidential election in 2014 against current President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, a former army chief who spearheaded the 2013 military coup against Mohamed Morsi, Egypt’s first freely elected president and a Muslim Brotherhood leader.
Only two candidates, including al-Sisi, are vying in the presidential polls, scheduled to take place from March 26 to 28.
Three other would-be candidates -- Khaled Ali, a prominent leftist; former prime minister Ahmed Shafik, and Mohamed Anwar al-Sadat, a veteran politician -- all appear to have withdrawn from the race after earlier announcing their intention to run.
Last week, the electoral commission annulled the candidacy of Gen. Sami Anan, a former army chief-of-staff, only hours after military prosecutors summoned him for questioning for alleged “irregularities”.