Presidential hopeful El-Sisi visits Coptic Pope for Easter

Ahram Online, Saturday 19 Apr 2014

Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi visits pope Tawadros II for the first time ahead of Easter Sunday

El-Sisi with Pope Tawadros II
Presidential hopeful and former military chief Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi (L) with Pope Tawadros II (R) of the Coptic orthodox church at Cairo's Abbasiya Cathedral, Saturday, 19 April 2014 (Photo: Al-Ahram)

Presidential hopeful and former military chief Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi visited Saturday Pope Tawadros II of the Coptic Orthodox Church in Cairo's Abbasiya Cathedral, a day before Easter Sunday.  

This is El-Sisi's first visit to Pope Tawadros II. The presidential runner is expected to garner many of the Coptic community's votes.

El-Sisi's popularity soared following the ouster of the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsi on 3 July 2013 following mass protests against his one year rule.

On 26 March, El-Sisi resigned from his post in the military and announced in a televised appearance that he would be running for the presidency after thousands took the streets 25 January 2014 urging him to do so.

On 27 January, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) released a statement saying it empowered the defence minister to run for president. SCAF said it considers El-Sisi's presidential bid "a mandate and an obligation."

So far, only Nasserist figure Hamdeen Sabahi has submitted the required presidential forms to run against El-Sisi. Sabahi and his campaign have frequently complained of state bias against their campaign.

Egypt's presidential elections are scheduled for 26-27 May.

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