Former Egyptian chief of staff abandons bid for presidency
Egypt's former chief of staff Magdi Hatata decided to abandon his candidacy for the presidency due to "the current political conditions in the country," he announced on Saturday, dpa reported.
He said in a brief statement that he hoped "Egyptians would choose a person who is worthy to lead the country for the goals of the January 25 revolution," according to Al Ahram news website.
Hatata, who served as chief of staff from 1995 to 2001, announced his intention of running for presidency in April.
Hatata was not regarded as being a front-runner in the upcoming presidential elections - scheduled for June - unlike former Arab League chief Amr Moussa, former head of the UN nuclear watchdog Mohamed ElBaradei, and Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh, a former senior figure in the influential Muslim Brotherhood group.
Many Egyptians reject the idea of a new president with a military background. Since the 1952 revolution, when a group of army officers seized power from King Farouk, all four presidents of Egypt have had military ties.
While the was credited for its support of the January 25 revolution, which unseated Mubarak, the ruling military council has also been criticized for using force against demonstrators since then and setting a slow pace for reforms.