Egypt presidential candidate to assess status

Egypt's Sisi submits his presidential candidacy documents to the NEA

Another Egyptian presidential candidate drops out

With former Armed Forces chief of staff Sami Anan detained and leftist lawyer Khaled Ali under pressure to withdraw from the race, Egyptians are coming to terms with an election set to return Abdel Fattah El Sisi to the presidency. His arrest came soon after Egypt's military released a statement that was read on state television accusing him of seeking presidential office "without getting prior approval from the armed forces".

Ali's campaign said late Tuesday in a statement that it would announce its "final" position Wednesday in regard to the election.

The military also accused Anan of forging documents to falsely indicate his military service was terminated.

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi has submitted his nomination documents to Egypt's election commission, a day after a potentially serious challenger was arrested over criminal allegations.

Ali Taha, a lawyer, said he was asked by the campaign to defend Anan, who in his announcement speech said he had already put in place a team of civilians to support his bid, including Geneina.

The constitution of Egypt requires that election proceedings shall not begin earlier than 120 days from the date of the end of the current presidential term, which ends on June 8 and the results shall not be announced later than 30 days before the date of the end of the current presidential term.

Mr Sisi has been in power since 2013, after leading a military coup that ousted former leader Mohammed Morsi from power, before winning by a landslide in the 2014 presidential election. A spokesman for the Anan campaign denied any links with the group.

"Now we'll have to wait and see who will come up", Ashour said. In his video announcing his candidacy, Annan spoke of deteriorating living standards and what he called the "erosion" of the state's capabilities, and he blamed it on the policy of increasingly involving the military in the economy and politics. Unless someone steps forward by Monday, the deadline to enter the race, el-Sissi could be the sole candidate.

He received a three-month prison sentence for "offending public decency" after he allegedly made an obscene gesture during a protest.

Beside Ali, two would-be challengers have withdrawn from the race and another two have been arrested, including the former military chief of staff, Sami Annan.

Earlier in 2017, Amnesty International warned that the Egyptian authorities had intensified their crackdown on opposition activists ahead of the 2018 presidential election by rounding up activists from opposition parties.

Ahmed Shafik, a former Prime Minister and Air Force chief, was Sissi's most prominent opponent.

When he announced last week he meant to run, he listed Egypt's achievements in his first term and said: "Building the state takes 16 to 20 years, I am trying to finish it in eight years, God willing".

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