Ex-military chief of staff to run in Egyptian presidential election

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On 8 January, Egypt€™s National Electoral Commission announced that the 2018 presidential election would begin overseas on 16 March and on 26 March in Egypt. The announcement came at the end of a three-day conference, which was conducted to hail the four years of his presidency.

At the same time, former military chief of staff Samy Anan appeared in a video announcing that he will run in the upcoming presidential election.

Sisi led the military coup that ousted Egypt's first freely elected president Mohamed Morsi in 2013, after the so-called "Arab Spring" protests forced long-time president Hosni Mubarak to resign.

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"A statement to the great people of Egypt, Sami Anan will run for president in the 2018 elections", said the secretary-general of the party, founded by Anan, in a statement on his Facebook page. "No, because there is no contestation - we've seen viable candidates withdraw or pull out, and we have two right now who are very weak in nature and really haven't done the leg work", Dalia Fahmy, associate professor of political science at the Long Island University told the Al Jazeera. Candidates are due to register from January 20 to 29.

He said he had "done all I could".

Al-Sisi supporters say the president's harsh measures are needed in order to keep the country stable, as Egypt faces security challenges including attacks by Islamic State militants in the North Sinai region.

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According to a Thursday statement issued by al-Sisi's office, Kamel will head up Egypt's General Intelligence Directorate until a permanent director can be appointed.

The third since 2011, the presidential elections will be held on March 26-28, with a run-off vote on April 24-26 if no candidate wins more than 50 percent in the first round.

"I announce to you in the honesty and transparency which we are used to.my candidacy for the post of president of the republic", Sisi said at a conference in Cairo on Friday, broadcast live on state television.

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In addition to Sisi, other candidates declared their will to run in the 2018 elections, including human rights lawyer Khaled Ali, MP and Zamalek Sporting Club chairman Mortada Mansour, and former army chief-of-staff Sami Anan.

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