A prominent Egyptian rights lawyer says he will run for president in next year's elections. The move is unlikely to seriously challenge the incumbent general-turned-president but will test his popularity at a time of deep economic hardship, a relentless crackdown on dissent and a simmering insurgency.

Khaled Ali announced his candidacy Monday to a packed news conference at the headquarters of the opposition al-Dustour party, saying "Egypt is in crisis... we are working with other democratic parties to ensure real guarantees for this battle."

His candidacy faces major hurdles, the most pressing being a potential obscenity conviction that would make him ineligible if his appeal is rejected. The next hearing over the charges, widely seen as politically motivated to block his run, is on Nov. 8.