Presidential candidate Abdel-Moneim Abul-Fotouh on Tuesday visited students holding a weeks-long sit-in at the German University in Cairo (GUC) to protest the recent expulsion of students for engaging in political activity.
Abul-Fotouh announced his solidarity with the student protesters, citing their "legitimate demands against arbitrary and unfair decisions by the university administration." He also emphasised students' "right to stage sit-ins until their demands are met."
"The university must be independent," the Islamist presidential contender – a former member of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood – told students. "Decision-making must be in the hands of students and professors, not security officials or even the interior minister."
Thousands of GUC students have taken part in the sit-in, which first began on 29 February to protest the permanent expulsion of two students and the temporary suspension of three others for engaging in political activity.
After leaving the sit-in on Tuesday, Abul-Fotouh set out for the canal city of Suez, where he is scheduled to work on his presidential campaign and meet Suez Canal University students.