We have not yet chosen a presidential candidate: Brotherhood official

Ahram Online, Tuesday 13 Mar 2012

The Muslim Brotherhood denies settling on a candidate to support in the upcoming presidential elections, continuing to consult with the Church and others

The Muslim Brotherhood has announced that it has not yet decided on which presidential candidate to support during the elections scheduled for June.

Mahmoud Ghozlan, the Brotherhood’s official spokesperson said that any reports circulated in the media about the matter are "completely false."

In a statement released on Tuesday by the group, Ghozlan said that the Brotherhood and its political leg the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) will make an official announcement once they decide on which candidate they will back.

Since the official registration period for presidential candidates began last Saturday, the media has floated several names of candidates they claimed were supported by the Brotherhood.

Among those are Bassem Khafagi, a professor of development. On Sunday Khafagi went to the electoral committee headquarters to obtain his presidential nomination papers and took the time to tell reporters that he hoped that the FJP will support his presidential bid.

Earlier this week, a judicial source told Ahram Online that the Brotherhood are "applying heavy pressure" on Judge Hossam El-Gheriani, the head of the Supreme Judicial Council, to be their candidate for the presidential race. According to the source, several key Brotherhood figures have met with El-Gheriani in an attempt to convince him.

The Brotherhood have reportedly also assured El-Gheriani that they have presented his name to Coptic Orthodox Church patriarch Pope Shenouda III and that the Church will also be behind him if he decides to run.

El-Gheriani had previously told Ahram Online that he does not plan to run for the post this time around and that the Islamists are free to back whomever they choose.

The FJP won 47 per cent of parliament and are considered to be the most powerful political group in the country since the ousting of former president Mubarak in February 2011.

Following Mubarak’s ouster the group had announced that they do not plan to contest the presidential elections this time around and will be satisfied with winning parliamentary seats. 

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