Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has confirmed that he will stand for a third term in office at an election scheduled for December.
The election, which el-Sisi is widely expected to win, comes as Egypt grapples with an economic crisis, record inflation, a sharply depreciated local currency and claims by the political opposition that its candidates are suffering harassment and intimidation.
“I have decided to nominate myself to complete the dream during a new presidential term,” el-Sisi said, making the announcement during a televised speech on Monday evening.
“I call on all Egyptians to participate in this democratic scene to choose with their patriotic conscience who is worthy,” he said.
According to international media reports, an estimated 65 million Egyptians are reported to be eligible to vote in the election, which will be held over three days from December 10 to 12. Egyptians living abroad will be able to cast their ballots on December 1-3.
A handful of politicians had already announced their bids to run for presidency but none poses a serious challenge to el-Sisi, who has been in power since 2014 after leading the army to remove Egypt’s first democratically-elected President Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood in 2013.
El-Sisi was announced the winner of presidential elections in 2014 and 2018 with 97 percent of the vote.