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Rebel backtracks on support for possible El-Sisi presidential bid

Group that led protests against Islamist president Mohamed Morsi backpedals from leader's statement hinting at possible support for army chief Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi if he runs for president

Ahram Online , Friday 30 Aug 2013
Mahmoud Badr
Mahmoud Badr, a leader of the Rebel (Tamarod) youth movement (Photo: Reuters)
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Rebel (Tamarod) has distanced itself from comments by its leader about a possible presidential bid by army chief Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi.

The group's co-founder, Mahmoud Badr, on Thursday said he had no reservations about backing a presidential candidate from the military, a stance that was later altered by the group's spokesperson.

"Announcing support for a candidate at a time when there is no established plan for elections, no constitution or any official candidates, would be an uncalculated, unreasonable step," Mohamed Shahine clarified via Facebook.

"Our next, primary battle before presidential polls is the constitution," Shahine added.

In a television interview on Dubai-based Al-Arabiya, Badr said he might back a presidential bid by army chief Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, who led the overthrow of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, "if the country is still unstable."

"If there is a stable security situation, I'd rather a civilian president," Badr added.

El-Sisi has repeatedly denied speculation that he plans to run for president, claiming he is not interested in ruling the country.

Shahine also accused Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood of distorting the Arab resistance and the Palestinian cause "to serve Western and American interests that defend the Zionist state."

"The major goal of the Brotherhood and its followers is to turn the conflict in the region from an Arab-Zionist conflict into a sectarian, Sunni-Shia conflict."

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