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Mansour Hassan withdraws from presidential race

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Mansour Hassan, a former minister under the late president Anwar Al-Sadat, has announced Sunday that he has decided to withdraw from the presidential race. Hassan had previously declared on 7 March that he intended to run in Egypt's upcoming elections.

"I have decided not to continue pursuing this path, which I had not intended to tread for the sake of the position but in pursuit of public service. It occurred to me, after reevaluating the general circumstances, that this pursuit cannot be achieved in a way that I would approve," said Hassan in a statement released Sunday afternoon.

Hassan said "internal conflicts"  between the political entities who announced they would be officially backing his presidential bid, was the reason for his withdrawl.

Earlier in March, the liberal Wafd Party stated that it would give its full support to the potential presidential candidate Amr Moussa.

However, on the same day that the former minister of information announced he was going to run for the presidency, the party's Central Committee held an evening meeting and announced they had shifted their endorsement to Hassan.

The issue sparked disagreements among the younger members of the party who objected to the decision.

Before he officially announced he intended to run, Hassan's name was among those that were expected to meet the criteria of a so-called "consensual" president that the main ruling entities, the military council and the Muslim Brotherhood, would agree to support.

Hassan stirred further controversy within the party when he announced that should he win, his vice president would be former military officer Sameh Seif El-Yazal. The issue raised further concerns about the military being involved in Hassan's campaign.

Egypt's presidential elections, which will be the first since the ouster of former president Hosni Mubarak, will be held on 23 and 24 March. The president will be named on 21 June after a runoff round on 16 and 17 June.

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