Ex-army figure to challenge Sissi in Egyptian election:
A former Egyptian army chief of staff will contest the upcoming presidential election in March, a top aide said, as other candidates have faced heavy pressure to drop out and pave the way for a sweeping reelection victory for President Abdel Fatah al-Sissi. Ragab Helal Hemida, head of the policies committee in the Egypt Arabism Democratic Party, said that Lt. Gen. Sami Anan has accepted his party’s nomination. Voting is scheduled to take place March 26-28. Hemida said that Sissi’s popularity has taken a blow after painful austerity measures saw a large sector of Egyptians fall into poverty or hardship. He added that under Sissi, Egypt’s human rights record has sharply deteriorated.