Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has received backing for his presidential bid from former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, an Egyptian news website reported.
The leader who was removed from office after a popular uprising in February 2011 told a reporter from Al-Masry Al-Youm during a phone interview to “vote for Sisi” and that there was no option “other than than him”.
Mubarak also criticised Sisi’s main rival, Hamdeen Sabahi, describing him as “not capable of becoming Egypt’s president”. He also expressed caution about the Muslim Brotherhood’s reaction to a Sisi presidency, warning that the country needed to maintain a “high degree of vigilance”.
Sabahi’s election team called the comments a “badge of honour” and added that “corrupt Mubarak regime cronies” were behind a campaign against the presidential hopeful, also according to Al-Masry Al-Youm.
Sisi, who overthrew Egypt’s first freely elected President Mohamed Morsi in a coup last summer, served as a military attache to Saudi Arabia during Mubarak’s rule. In March, he resigned from his post as defence minister and announced his intention to stand in May 26-27 presidential elections after months of speculation saying it was the “will of the people”.
Since a military-appointed interim government took charge of Egypt in July, the country has faced frequent protests by supporters of Morsi. These have often ended in violence with hundreds of demonstrators being killed in clashes with security forces.
Egyptian security forces have also faced frequent attacks. A triple bombing on Tuesday killed two people, including a police brigadier-general. The attack was claimed by a group called Ajnad Misr or Soldiers of Egypt, however the claim made on a Facebook page has not been independently verified.
Discussing alleged foreign interference in Egypt, Mubarak added that the US was trying to subjugate Egypt by withholding warplanes and was pressuring the country’s leadership to include Morsi’s Brotherhood in the political process.