Mohamed Anwar Sadat, the nephew of Egypt's former president Anwar Sadat, surprised Egyptians yesterday, declaring he will not run in the upcoming presidential election.
Sadat made his announcement at a press conference in Cairo saying that after assessing the current political environment he didn't think election would be democratic.
Many Egyptians saw in Sadat the one true opponent to Sisi in the elections.
Speaking to Rfi's Anne-Marie Bissada, Sadat said he didn't believe 'there would be equal chances for the candidates'.
He added that he feared for the safety of people working for his campaign on the ground.
'My volunteers might find themselves in a situation where they could be harassed or abused,' he told RFI. He said he was unwilling to put them in such a situation.
Sadat also cited the country's more or less perpetual emergency legislation, as an impediment to free and fair elections.
Despite not yet having announced his own candidacy in the presidential race, incumbent Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is widely expected to stand and win in the first round, which is to be held March 26-28.
Campaigning begins on February 24 and will last until March 23.
Sisi, Egypt's former army chief, was elected in 2014, a year after leading the military to oust his predecessor Mohamed Morsi amid mass protests against the Islamist's year-long rule.
On January 7, former prime minister Ahmed Shafiq, once seen as a main challenger to Sisi, also said he would not be a candidate, reversing a previous pledge to stand.