CAIRO - Egyptian human rights lawyer and opposition leader Khaled Ali said on Monday he will challenge President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in the 2018 presidential election, provided he is not barred from running.
Ali told a news conference he was "planning ... to launch a presidential campaign". He would run on a socialist platform, aiming to end austerity and redistribute wealth, and fight terrorism without compromising freedom.
A Cairo court sentenced Ali in September to three months in prison for public indecency. He has appealed, denying the charges which he says are politically motivated.
But if the guilty verdict is upheld he will not be allowed to run, even if he is not jailed.
Ali said earlier on Monday security forces had raided a printing press and seized materials for his campaign, after Egyptian media reported he was expected to announce his candidacy.
The interior ministry could not immediately be reached for comment.
Security forces accused the owner of the press of printing "documents that harm national security", Ali told Reuters by phone.
(Reporting by Ahmed Aboulenein; Editing by Andrew Roche) ((John.Davison@thomsonreuters.com;))