A major youth movement that was banned last month by an Egyptian court declared Wednesday it would boycott this month's presidential vote.
The announcement by the April 6 movement added to a chorus of complaints from critics who say the election, now less than two weeks away, is stacked heavily in favor of retired Field Marshal Abdel Fattah Sisi.
Sisi led the July coup that deposed the country’s first democratically elected president,
Sabahi says state institutions are being used unfairly to bolster Sisi's already strong prospects for victory.
In advance of the May 26-27 vote, Sisi, the 59-year-old ex-military man, has scarcely appeared in public, opting instead to campaign via television interviews that appear scripted, meetings with small handpicked groups and videoconferences. Sabahi, by contrast, has held rallies around the country.
The April 6 movement, which helped spearhead the 2011 uprising that toppled
International human rights groups and Western governments have been highly critical of a range of repressive measures by the interim government. On Wednesday, London-based
Egyptian officials have been defensive in the face of mounting criticism, warning that Western scolding only served to alienate the Egyptian people. Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy, on a visit to London this week, said the government could not intervene in the trial of three journalists from English-language Al Jazeera broadcasting who are due back in court on Thursday on terror-related charges.