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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Egyptian Presidential Hopeful Freed

CAIRO, Egypt -- An Egyptian opposition leader and presidential hopeful whose imprisonment angered Washington and called into question Egypt's pledges of democratic reform led a parade Saturday through downtown Cairo, trailed by thousands after being freed on bail.

Ayman Nour -- still in his white prison jump suit and looking frail -- stepped out of Cairo's central security headquarters and was whisked to the shoulders of his supporters, blowing kisses over their heads. The 40-year-old lawmaker flashed a V-for-victory sign to the crowd of orange-shirted supporters awaiting his release. Orange is the color used by his "Tomorrow" political party.

Speaking to his supporters, Nour reiterated his innocence, and his jailhouse announcement that he would run for president this year against 24-year incumbent Hosni Mubarak.

"They tried for days to destroy a national project, the Tomorrow Party. But they failed," Nour said to cheers.

Nour is accused of presenting fraudulent signatures to a government committee to get a license for his party. He and his party denied the accusations, maintaining the charges were political, aiming to eliminate him as a rival to the ruling party.

Nour announced last week he would run for president, shortly after Mubarak gave the surprise order that the constitution be amended to permit multi-candidate elections later this year. Mubarak has easily won three past yes-no referenda when his six-year terms have expired.

Nour's party was approved late last year, only the third to be legalized in the past 25 years.