Essam al-Erian joins the race for Freedom and Justice Party chief

Veteran Islamist politician Essam al-Erian has joined the race to lead Egypt’s biggest political party, the Freedom and Justice Party.

Elections for the president of the Muslim Brotherhood's political wing are scheduled to be held on 19 October.

Erian’s main competition comes from Saad al-Katatny, the former speaker of the People’s Assembly, who has announced that he will also run for the post.

Erian is the acting chief of the Muslim  FJP since the former party head, Mohamed Morsy, resigned to assume the presidency.

On Tuesday, Erian posted on Twitter message: "I have consulted those whose opinions I respect and asked God for guidance, and I will obtain the form for the nomination for FJP chief at 11 am on Tuesday."

Erian had previously said his nomination for the position would entrench the principles of freedom, consultation and democracy, as well as serve the party and the call to Islam.

It’s not clear whether Amr Darrag, secretary general of the party in Giza and a member of the Constituent Assembly, will announce his intention to run.

Correction: An earlier version of this story said that Essam al-Erian had withdrawn from the race.

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