Egypt’s Interim Deputy Prime Minister officially entered the presidential race on Monday when his campaigners handed in application papers to the elections committee in Cairo, the country’s state TV said.
Amid heighted security measures, three black 4x4 cars belonging to al- Sisi’s campaigners arrived at the elections committee headquarters with an army helicopters roaming above.
The former Army Chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who is riding a wave of popularity after ousting Islamist leader Mohammad Mursi in July, is widely expected to win the May 26-27 election.
The 59-year-old had declared his intention to run for President in late March.
“Lawyer Abu Shoqa submitted the required documents on behalf of al-Sisi that include endorsements by citizens, medical reports, and an application for his candidacy,” Ahmed Kamel told AFP.
Under Egyptian law, candidates hoping to run for President need to collect at least 25,000 signatures.
“Al-Sisi has already received more than 460,000 signatures from citizens across the country endorsing his candidacy,” said Kamel.
Al-Sisi ousted Mursi after millions of people took to the streets protesting against the Islamist’s single year of turbulent rule.
The electoral commission is set to announce the final field of candidates on May 2, and official campaigning starts a day later.
Leftist leader Hamdeen Sabahi and Mortada Mansour, a harsh critic of activists who led the 2011 revolt against Hosni Mubarak, have also declared their intention to stand for President.
Sabahi recently heighted his tone against al-Sisi. During an interview with al-Mayadeen satellite channel late on Saturday, he claimed that figures linked to corruption are supporting the presidential campaign of retired Army Chief Sisi.
“There are honorable figures in Sisi’s campaign, but all the icons of corruption are in his team and are backing him,” Ahram Online quoted him as saying.
Al-Mayadeen said its signal was jammed during the show.
European Union monitors will supervise next month’s election.
Source: Al Arabiya; Al-Mayadeen; AFP