Egyptian leftist leader Hamdeen Sabbahi is surrounded by journalists as he arrives to submit the documents required to run in next month's presidential election, on April 19, 2014 in Cairo
Egyptian leftist leader Hamdeen Sabbahi is surrounded by journalists as he arrives to submit the documents required to run in next month's presidential election, on April 19, 2014 in Cairo © Mohamed el-Shahed - AFP/File
Egyptian leftist leader Hamdeen Sabbahi is surrounded by journalists as he arrives to submit the documents required to run in next month's presidential election, on April 19, 2014 in Cairo
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AFP
Last updated: April 20, 2014

Egyptians approach a two-man race between ex-army chief and leftist

Egypt's presidential election next month is set to be a contest between ex-army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and leftist Hamdeen Sabbahi, after nobody else entered the race by Sunday's cut-off.

The lack of other candidates means the poll will be held over one round on May 26 and 27, with Sisi expected to easily win after he led the ouster of divisive Islamist president Mohamed Morsi last July.

Sisi's campaign submitted almost 200,000 signatures backing his candidacy, well over the 25,000 required endorsements.

Sisi's support dwarfed Sabbahi's, who gathered around 30,000 signatures. They were the only two candidates to submit the endorsements before Sunday's deadline.

"Every candidate can now appeal against the other. We have two who requested candidacy," electoral committee official Abdel al-Aziz Salman told a news conference.

The final list of candidates will be confirmed on May 2.

Sisi, who resigned from the army last month to contest the election, is riding a wave of popularity for ending the divisive presidency of Morsi after days of mass protests.

But Morsi's supporters accuse Sisi of leading a coup against the country's first elected and civilian president after only a year in office.

The Islamist's supporters continue almost daily small protests, while militants have unleashed a deadly campaign against policemen and soldiers.

Sabbahi, who had supported Morsi's overthrow, had placed third in the 2012 election that Morsi won.

He has since styled himself as a "revolutionary" opposed to the powerful military's role in politics.

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