Egypt presidential hopeful calls for neutrality in elections

Egypt's former military chief of staff, who announced he would run for president in March elections, has called on state institutions to maintain neutrality toward all candidates.

Sami Annan's early Saturday video statement released on his official Facebook page came hours after President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi declared his bid to run for a second four-year term.

He urged civil and military institutions against "unconstitutionally" siding with a president "who may leave his office."

Annan said he formed a presidential team that would include Egypt's former top auditor Hisham Genena, who was sacked by el-Sissi in 2016. Annan also said he is running to "save the Egyptian state" from what he described as "wrong policies."

Other presidential hopefuls include a prominent rights lawyer who has alleged harassment by the authorities.