The top opposition coalition in Egypt has said it would boycott the presidential election slated for next year.
The liberal opposition political movement in the North African country, Free Current coalition, announced that it won’t nominate a presidential candidate in the election following the arrest of one of its leaders.
According to the political coalition, the arrested leader, Hisham Kassem, was sentenced to a six-month imprisonment.
The Free Current coalition, which consists of liberal political parties, stated that Hisham had been a potential candidate for the presidential election.
Egyptian authorities found Kassem, a former chairman of the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights, guilty of slander and assaulting a police officer verbally.
The persecutors had earlier ordered Kassem’s release on the grounds that he pays the sum of 5,000 Egyptian pounds ($161) as bail, which the Free Current leading official refused paying.
Kassem was then transferred to police station in the country’s capital Cairo, where was alleged to have verbally assaulted the officers.
Supporters of the said leader had decried the charges as politically motivated.
President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi is expected to affirm his intention to contest for a third term but has yet to issue a statement.
So far, only one person, Ahmed al-Tantawi, has declared his presidential candidacy, but has reported increasing harassment from the country’s security forces.
Early this week, El-Sisi said the North African country needs to slow down birth rate to avoid a catastrophe.
President Sisi made the statement at the first Global Congress on Population, Health and Development when Egypt’s minister of health and population, Khaled Abdel Ghaffar, said “having children is a matter of complete freedom”.
Sisi has of late been exploiting ways to grow Egypt’s economy amidst an economic crisis.
He explained that Egypt needed to reduce its annual births to 400,000 from its current position of over two million to enable the country to adequately provide jobs and social services to its populace.
The country received a membership invitation from the world economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa (BRICS) in August.