Egypt Main Opposition Hopeful Dumps Presidential Race

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Popular Egyptian opposition politician Ahmed al-Tantawi declared on Friday that he would withdraw from the presidential race. This decision followed weeks of accusations of harassment and arrests by the authorities.

“Whoever believes that the problems in Egypt will be solved if the elections end up with the current president remains in power, needs to think twice, because he [the president] is the root of the problem and does not have any desire or ability to contemplate this fact or review himself,” shared Egypt’s Hope.

Despite garnering significant support after announcing his intention to challenge the current President, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Tantawi managed to secure only 14,000 endorsements, falling short of the required 25,000 endorsements necessary to officially register his candidacy, as stated by his campaign coordinator.

“Stability can not be built on oppression, rather it is consensual and built on the government’s commitment to the constitution and law,” added the opposition leader.

To be eligible for the presidential race, each candidate must submit endorsements from either 20 lawmakers or 25,000 citizens by October 15.

The opposition candidate had previously reported that over 100 of his supporters were detained in the past few weeks. Egypt disclosed last month that it scheduled its presidential election for December 10-12, and President Sisi subsequently officially declared his intent to run for a third term.

Tantawi’s campaign had consistently alleged that it was subjected to harassment and arrests by the authorities. Several of its members publicly attested to enduring physical assaults or being obstructed from registering their endorsements. Tantawi himself claimed that his phone had been under surveillance since September 2021.