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'No one better': Egyptians rally for Sisi third term

By AFP - Oct 02,2023 - Last updated at Oct 02,2023

A photo taken on October 2, 2023 shows a sail boat bearing a portrait of Egypt's President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi in the Nile River in central Cairo (AFP photo)

CAIRO — Thousands of Egyptians rallied on Monday in Cairo, calling for President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi to declare his candidacy in upcoming elections, as convoys of buses carrying his image blocked major streets.

Egyptians will head to the polls on December 10-12 for a vote the 68-year-old former army chief is widely expected to win.

While Sisi has not yet announced his intention to run for a third term, crowds gathered in the capital to show their support.

"There is no one better for the future," said Hassan Afifi, a teacher who escorted a bus full of his students to a rally in western Cairo.

"We all came out to support President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi for the giant projects he has undertaken."

Sisi won 96 per cent of the vote in presidential elections in 2014.

Four years later, he scored a 97-per cent victory against one of his own supporters, after more prominent candidates were sidelined or arrested.

Patriotic music blared from speakers and banners carrying the leader's image appeared across the capital on Monday, AFP correspondents said.

The sails of boats on the Nile River were emblazoned with Sisi's photo and slogans including "yes to stability", the correspondents added.

In order to be eligible for candidacy, applicants must obtain nominations from either 20 members of parliament or 25,000 people from at least 15 governorates across Egypt.

A handful of party leaders have said they had already gathered the necessary nominations from parliament.

Another challenger, former parliamentarian Ahmed Al Tantawi, has been trying to rally popular support on the campaign trail.

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