Presidential frontrunner Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who stepped down as army chief to run for office, urged Egyptians on Friday to vote in large numbers in next week's election.
Sisi, lauded by millions for having ousted Islamist president Mohammad Mursi last July, is expected to trounce his only rival, leftist Hamdeen Sabbahi, in the vote on Monday and Tuesday.
"You went down [to the streets] because Egypt was in danger on June 30," 2013, Sisi said in an interview to four television channels.
He was referring to Egyptians who poured on to the streets that day in their millions to demand Mursi's resignation after a turbulent year in power.
"You need to go down now more than any other time in [the country's] history. Go down, show to the entire world that there are 40, 45 [million] or even more" voters casting their ballots.
Sisi ousted Mursi, Egypt's first freely elected president, after the mass rallies accusing him of monopolizing power and wrecking an already dilapidated economy.
Riding on a wave of popularity, retired field marshal Sisi has not addressed any public rally during campaigning, which came to a close Friday.
Sisi, in the interview, reiterated his backing for a controversial law banning all but police-authorized demonstrations.
"It's not that it is unacceptable to me, but the situation does not permit. Society wants to move on ... Can people tolerate protests that are not regulated given the current situation?" Sisi asked.
"The protest law is there to regulate protests not to ban protests."
Egypt has been rocked by deadly protests since the ouster of Mursi, with his supporters staging rallies which often lead to violent clashes with security forces and the anti-Mursi camp.
نستخدم ملفات الكوكيز لنسهل عليك استخدام مواقعنا الإلكترونية ونكيف المحتوى والإعلانات وفقا لمتطلباتك واحتياجاتك الخاصة، لتوفير ميزات وسائل التواصل الاجتماعية ولتحليل حركة المرور لدينا...اعرف أكثر