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Egypt's top presidential candidate says demands and protests jeopardizing national security

Egypt's top presidential candidate has warned newspaper editors not to press issues of freedoms of speech and other rights, saying demands and protests jeopardize national security and that democracy is an "idealistic" goal.

Former military chief, Field Marshal Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, made the comments in a lengthy meeting with editors, parts of which were aired on a private network Thursday.

In it, he tells editors to not "scare people" or cause "skepticism." He says the press should help rally people behind the "strategic" goal of "preserving the Egyptian state," adding "there should be a balance between the practice and the freedoms and national security."

El-Sissi, who last summer ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, is seen as the overwhelming favorite to win the May 26-27 election.