Human rights lawyer Khaled Ali said he is quitting the race to become Egypt's president, citing reasons including the arrest of some of his election campaign activists and a tight timetable.
Human rights lawyer Khaled Ali said he is quitting the race to become Egypt’s president, citing reasons including the arrest of some of his election campaign activists and a tight timetable. “Today we announce our decision that we will not run in this race,” Ali said at a news conference in Cairo. Ali, a leftist who was a presidential candidate in 2012, had yet to submit his candidacy for the March 26-28 election. From the start, he said, “our announcement was met with an angry and irresponsible reaction, manifesting in the arrest of a large number of the campaign’s youth,” said Ali. The arrests had started a few months “before we officially announced our intent to run… with some referred to urgent trials,” said the rights lawyer. The very short timetable did not allow for a fair climate for all the candidates to be able to gather the needed signatures in time before next Monday’s deadline, he said. The majority of those hoping to challenge incumbent President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in the election have either ruled themselves out or sentenced to prison in the past few weeks.