Sisi says Muslim Brotherhood will not return

First interview of Sisi's campaign

Egyptian presidential candidate and former military chief Abdul Fattah al-Sisi said the Muslim Brotherhood will never return as an organisation, accusing it of using militant groups as a front to destabilise the country.

Sisi made his comments on 5 May during the first interview since declaring his candicacy for the nation's presidential election on 26-27 May, a contest that he is expected to win easily.

Sisi said that his priorities as president would include restoring stability and bringing development to Egypt which has been gripped in political turmoil since former president Hosni Mubarak was overthrown in a popular uprising in 2011.

His comments have been interpreted as underlining his determination to eliminate the 86-year-old movement which has faced a severe crackdown by the interim government since the military removed Islamist president Mohammed Morsi from power last July.

Following the ousting of Morsi, who remains in prison awaiting four separate trials, the government declared the Brotherhood a terrorist organisation and over 16,000 Islamists have been arrested. Recently an Egyptian court recommended the death sentence for 683 Brotherhood members including its leader Mohamed Badiet, at a mass trial on 28 April.

The only other candidate in the upcoming race is Hamdeen Sabahi, a well-known opposition figure who finished third in Egypt's first democratic presidential election.