Mohamed Anwar Sadat, a dissident and nephew of Egypt’s late president of the same name, said on Monday he will not run in this year’s presidential poll because the climate was not right for free elections.
“I don’t feel, and I am not assured, that the elections will be held in the form that we were hoping for... Therefore, we will not enter a losing battle,” the former legislator told reporters in Cairo.
Despite not yet having announced his own candidacy in the presidential race, incumbent Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is widely expected to stand and win in the first round, which is to be held March 26-28. Campaigning begins on February 24 and will last until March 23.
Sisi, Egypt’s former army chief, was elected in 2014, a year after leading the military to oust his predecessor Mohamed Morsi amid mass protests against the Muslim Brotherhood’s year-long rule.
Sadat said he had concerns for the safety of his campaign team at a time when elections were to be held with Egypt under a state of emergency.