Supporters of Mohammad Dahlan, the former exiled Gaza intelligence chief, hold pictures of Sisi while waving Egyptian and Fatah flags during in solidarity with Egypt. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)
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Six months before Egypt's election, President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi's supporters are petitioning for him to run, rallying around the former military commander whose popularity critics say has been dimmed by austerity reforms, security problems and a crackdown on dissidents. Four years ago, Sisi won a landslide victory after he led the military ouster of then-President Mohammad Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, promising stability following Egypt's 2011 Arab Spring uprising.Sisi, 62, has yet to declare if he will run, though he is unlikely to face strong opposition. Some Sisi opponents say the scale of the campaign shows that Egyptians have few viable opposition candidates to choose from in the election likely to happen around April.Others have suggested a countermovement calling instead for Sisi to step down.The campaign was inspired by the 2013 "Tamaroud," or "Rebellion," petition, that Sisi used as a mandate to topple the Muslim Brotherhood, Shaaban said.Sisi then led the military ouster of Morsi after those protests.
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