An Egyptian opposition figure who ran in the presidential elections against Abdel-Fatah el-Sisi says he's suing the president over his decision to hand over two strategic Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia.

The announcement on the handover of the islands, which have been under Egypt's protectorate, sparked demonstrations last week.

Hamdeen Sabahi, the leader of the Egyptian Popular Current, submitted a 10-page complaint to an administrative court in Cairo over the case. A copy was obtained by The Associated Press on Wednesday.

It says the Tiran and Sanafir islands are "part of Egypt's sovereign control" and cannot be relinquished without a referendum.

Egypt's government says the islands at the mouth of the Gulf of Aqaba belong to Saudi Arabia, which asked Cairo in 1950 to protect them from Israel.