During a Saturday meeting with members of the Revolution Youth Coalition (RYC), presidential contender Abul-Ezz El-Hariri agreed that discussing May's presidential race and the fears of a split vote are a must, however these discussions should be put on hold until after the candidate registration shuts on 18 April. Rather than imposing names on people, the parliamentarian believes that Egyptians should choose a candidate based on criteria that weigh the candidate's capability and experience.
El Hariri, nonetheless, agreed with the RYC on the importance of avoiding "the fatal mistake of splitting votes that was committed during (November's) parliamentary elections."
The RYC has embarked on a tour to meet with several presidential candidates in the hopes of avoiding a split vote. The group hopes to select a consensus, revolutionary presidential candidate – one of the revolution's objectives.
El-Hariri, an elected MP and long-time political activist, is running on the Socialist Popular Alliance Party (SPAP) ticket.
"I decided to run for presidency to ensure that the presidential race is not dominated by Islamists and pro-Mubarak regime candidates [as well as to] secure options for building a civil country," said the El-Hariri during the meeting, which was held at the SPA's offices.
The RYC have said that they are trying to negotiate with different political forces in order to reach a consensus on a candidate who "represents a civil country, comes from a respectable political background and presents a patriotic programme that encompasses the revolution's objectives."
One of the more prominent offshoots of the 18-day uprising that ended with the ouster of president Hosni Mubarak, the RYC is planning to meet a number of presidential candidates including Hamdeen Sabbahi, Hisham El-Bastawisi, Abdel-Moneim Abul-Fotouh and Khaled Ali.
A socialist and labour activist, El-Hariri claimed to have a “long history of promoting social justice,” noting that he had always been critical of Egypt’s parliamentary and presidential elections, which were regularly rigged under the former regime.
The SPAP—founded immediately following the ouster of former president Hosni Mubarak—was the first Egyptian leftist party to be legally recognised after the January 25 Revolution.