Egyptian leftist Sabbahi submits presidency bid

Hamdeen Sabbahi gathered 31,100 endorsements from 17 provinces, according to his campaign team

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Egyptian leftist Hamdeen Sabbahi on Saturday officially submitted his bid for next month’s presidential election, in which he will face former army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi who is riding a wave of popularity in the country.

Sabbahi submitted the documents required to run for presidency in the May 26-27 election. Last week, the leftist politician had gathered 31,100 endorsements from 17 provinces, according to his campaign team. The required number of endorsements is 25,000.

After submitting his candidacy to the electoral commission, he told his supporters: "With God's will, we will wage a great and victorious battle."

But he is expected to face a tough battle against Sisi who had gathered 200,000 endorsements before officially submitting his bid for presidency on Monday. Sisi’s popularity surged after ousting Islamist president Mohammad Mursi last July amid massive street protests, and he is widely expected to win the race.

Sabbahi’s registration comes a day before the expected end of the registration period set by the electoral commission.

Sabbahi was accompanied by scores of supporters, who cheered their candidate and chanted: "Sabbahi is the symbol of freedom!"

They carried boxes containing the signed forms to be handed over to the electoral committee.

A longtime opposition figure jailed during the rule of strongman Hosni Mubarak and his predecessor Anwar Sadat, Sabbahi came in third in Egypt's first free presidential election in 2012, a year after Mubarak was toppled by an Arab Spring-inspired uprising.

The electoral commission is to announce the final field of candidates on May 2, and official campaigning starts a day later.

(With AFP)

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