(MENAFN -Arab News) cairo: the former chief of staff of egypt's military says he will not run for president, leaving a leftist politician as the only serious candidate to run against the nation's military chief
Sami anan said his decision not to run in next month's vote was rooted in the ?nation's higher interests? and out of the realization of the dangers facing it
Anan played a key part in running egypt when generals took power for nearly 17 months after hosni mubarak's 2011 ouster. he was retired in 2012 by mubarak's successor, muhammad mursi
Anan's popular support is thought to be limited. his departure leaves leftist politician hamdeen sabahi as field marshal abdel-fattah el-sissi's only significant rival in the race. el-sissi has yet to formally declare his candidacy
Meanwhile, the candidate who lost egypt's 2012 presidential election reiterated his support thursday for el-sissi, but also slammed the military for initially backing his candidacy openly
Ahmed shafiq ? hosni mubarak's last premier ? endorsed el-sissi. shafiq narrowly lost the election that made mursi egypt's first democratically elected president
Shafiq called el-sissi the ?strongest candidate who has the highest chances of winning the presidency.? shafiq said he was backing el-sissi because he was ?convinced of the need to unify our efforts and avoid a scattering of votes which is useless.?