Egypt’s top prosecutor called for a probe into funds allegedly received by the only serious rival of ex-army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in an upcoming presidential election, sources said.
Public prosecutor Hisham Barakat issued the call after a lawyer filed a complaint about funds that Egyptian businessmen allegedly provided to leftist leader Hamdeen Sabbahi, the judicial sources said.
Sabbahi, a prominent dissident during the rule of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, came third in the 2012 presidential election won by the now deposed Morsi.
Sabbahi’s campaign spokesman Maasum Marzouk told AFP that such a complaint was filed even during the 2012 election when Sabbahi was receiving “donations for his campaign”.
“But the prosecution found nothing at that time. A similar attempt to defame us is being made again,” said Marzouk.
So far, Sabbahi is considered the only serious opponent of Sisi in the May 26-27 election.
Sabbahi may attract the support of a small but growing dissident movement.
But Sisi is riding a wave of popularity after he led the ouster of Morsi in July, after a single year of turbulent rule, and is widely tipped to win the election.
The registration of candidates for the election entered its second day on Tuesday.