March 28 - Supporters of former army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi gather in Tahrir Square in support of his bid for the Egyptian presidency. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION)
STORY: Around 200 demonstrators gathered close to Tahrir Square on Friday in support of Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the former army chief, widely tipped to become Egypt's next president.
Sisi, the general who ousted Egypt's first freely elected leader, declared his candidacy on Wednesday for a presidential election he is expected to easily win.
Sisi toppled Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood last July after mass protests against his rule and has emerged as the most influential figure in an interim administration that has governed since then.
Demonstrations against Sisi's candidacy, also fueled by a court decision to sentence 529 members of the Muslim Brotherhood to death earlier in the week, took place in several neighborhoods in Cairo on Friday.
Reuters eyewitnesses also report scores-strong demonstrations in several Egyptian cities following Friday prayers.
Among his supporters, Sisi is wildly popular. Many see him as the kind of strong man needed to stabilize a country in crisis.
Speaking to the nation on Wednesday, Sisi vowed to fight what he described as a terrorist threat facing Egypt, a reference to militant attacks that have spiraled since he ousted Mursi.
Sisi would assume leadership of a country that has faced unending turmoil since the uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak in 2011. Since the army toppled Mursi, Egypt has suffered the worst internal strife in its modern history.
Seeking to cap sky-high expectations, Sisi warned he could not perform "miracles" in a country of 85 million that is steeped in poverty.
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