An Egyptian court on Wednesday postponed its verdict in a case against rights lawyer and presidential hopeful Khaled Ali, judicial sources said, leaving uncertainty over whether he will be allowed to run in a forthcoming election.
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is widely expected to seek a second term in the presidential vote early this year, but has not yet announced his candidacy.
Ali said in November he intended to run against former military commander Sisi, who led the ousting of Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Mursi in 2013 before taking office a year later.
But a three month prison sentence passed in September for public indecency over an alleged rude hand gesture he made outside a courthouse last year might yet disqualify Ali.
Ali has appealed, denying the charges which he says are politically motivated. Wednesday's hearing at an appeals court delayed the final decision until March 7.
If the guilty verdict is upheld he will not be allowed to run, even if he is not jailed.