Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood has boycotted the upcoming presidential election due to be held on May 26-27.
The group said on Sunday that holding the election will not give legitimacy to “the criminal”.
That is an apparent reference to former military chief Abdul Fattah el-Sisi, who toppled the first democratically-elected President Mohamed Morsi last July, and is now running for presidency himself.
The Brotherhood also condemned the severe security crackdown over its supporters during past months.
The development comes after a court handed lengthy jail terms and hefty fines to 19 supporters of Morsi on Saturday.
The defendants were each given five-year jail terms and fined for civil disobedience.
Sisi suspended the constitution and dissolved the parliament following ouster of Morsi. Sisi is also accused of leading a deadly crackdown against the supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood.
According to human rights groups, at least 1,400 people have been killed in the political turmoil since Morsi’s ouster, “most of them due to excessive force used by security forces.”
Sisi's victory in the presidential vote would place Egypt's presidency back in the hands of a top military official just three years after Egyptians rose up against former dictator, Hosni Mubarak, an air force officer who ruled Egypt for nearly three decades.
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