CAIRO – Supporters of Egypt's president say they have collected more than 12 million signatures from people urging him to run for a second term.
President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi is virtually certain to run, and win, next year's elections, but he has yet to formally announce his candidacy.
He was elected in 2014, a year after leading the military's overthrow of an elected but divisive Islamist president, Mohammed Morsi of the now-outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.
The government has since waged a heavy crackdown on dissent, jailing tens of thousands of people, blocking hundreds of websites and banning all unauthorized demonstrations.
Mohammed el-Garhy, the chief coordinator of the group that gathered the signatures, told reporters Sunday that "the supreme goal of our campaign is to safeguard the Egyptian state."