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>> Egypt's incumbent president announced he will run for a second term in March's election, in which he is widely expected to win. In the televised announcement, Abdul Fatah Al-Sisi listed Egypt's achievements during his first term and encouraged viewers to get out to vote even if it wasn't for him.
The former military commander came to prominence when he led the army's ousting of President Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood in 2013. He swept the power a year later with nearly 97% of the vote. But critics say his popularity has since been eroded by tough economic reforms and a crackdown on dissidents.
Sisi has pledged the upcoming presidential election will be free and transparent, but his challengers describe a sweeping effort to kill off their campaigns before they've begun. Earlier this month, former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq recalled his candidacy after a firestorm of criticism from state aligned media and speculation he was held by authorities in a Cairo hotel.
Sisi's most high profile challengers now are former Army Chief of Staff, Sami Anan, and human rights leader, Khaled Ali, but neither is expected to be able to get the votes needed to win. The election is scheduled over three days from March 26th.