Egyptian presidential candidate hopeful and lawyer Mortada Mansour (Photo: Al-Ahram)
Controversial lawyer Mortada Mansour announced on Saturday that he would not run in Egypt's upcoming presidential elections, after having declared his candidacy less than a week ago.
Mansour announced last Sunday that he would become the third candidate in the elections after former army chief Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and leftist political figure Hamdeen Sabahi.
However, Mansour retreated from his previous stance on Saturday, claiming that his decision to withdraw comes despite having collected 20,000 recommendation forms.
He also said he had received a sign from God that El-Sisi would win the race.
He went on to slam presidential runner Sabahi – currently the only candidate running against El-Sisi.
Mansour was one of several figures from the era of ousted president Hosni Mubarak who was accused of orchestrating the Battle of the Camel, when pro-Mubarak thugs rode camels and horses into Tahrir Square on 2 February, at the height of the 2011 revolution, and attacked protesters, killing 11 and injuring several hundred.
He and 24 other Mubarak-era figures were acquitted in 2012 on charges of inciting the violence.
Mansour – who was elected head of the Zamalek sports club for the third time on 28 March – has been a controversial figure in Egyptian society since the 1990s, with a resume full of controversial lawsuits as well as public statements.
He hosted his own television program on Al-Fareen sattelite channel where he slammed many figures of the 25 January revolution. The channel was closed shortly afterwards, only to resume again.