More than 500 figures announce their support for Hamdeen Sabbahi
Days before Egypt's presidential elections, Nasserist candidate Sabbahi is gaining popularity with around 500 public figures announce their backing for him as a revolutionary candidate
Ekram Ibrahim, Monday 14 May 2012
Figures of Revolution Youth Coalition (RYC) announce their support to Hamdeen Sabbahi at his campaign head quarter (Photo: Hamdeen Sabbahi presidential campaign)
A group of revolutionary groups and public figures have announced their support for the Nasserist presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabbahi in a press conference at the candidate’s campaign headquarters on Monday.
Ahmed Doma, a member of the Youth for Justice and Freedom movement, Nasser Abdel-Hamid, Shadi Ghazali Harb and Khaled Telima from the Revolution Youth Coalition, Esraa Abdel-Fatah, political activist were among the revolutionary figures announcing their support for Sabbahi during the press conference.
“After digging through the presidential campaigns programs and speeches, we have decided to back revolutionary candidate Hamdeen Sabbahi as president of Egypt,” Abdel-Hamid said during the press conference.
In the packed press conference, supporters pointed to Sabbahi's presidential programme and his being a revolutionary figure who represents them as being the main reasons behind their support for him.
“Sabbahi has been a true revolutionary since his college years, he also has a detailed programme that has room for all types of Egyptians,” said Amr Helmy, former minister of health during the press conference.
Many supporters stressed that Hamdeen Sabbahi is “one of them.” Supporters highlighted his long history with peasants and supporting workers' rights, saying he was familiar to Egyptians from different backgrounds.
A number of intellectuals said that interviews Sabbahi gave recently on popular talk shows persuaded them.
“I decided to vote for him after hearing him talking about peasants and workers with details that shows he has a direct relation with them, something that no other candidate has,” said prominent columnist Abdel-Halim Kandil.
The mother of a symbol of the Egyptian Revolution – the mother of Khaled Said – also threw her support behind Sabbahi in a filmed interview. “Sabbahi has been fighting with us from day one,” she said. If he became the president of Egypt, she added, there would be no killing of humiliation of any protester.
It was announced during the press conference that 500 public figures have announced their support to Sabbahi. Those figures include; Omar Taher, writer, Alaa El-Aswani, columnist and novelist, Ahmed El-Mesalmani, journalist, Ayman Bahgat Amar, poet, Khaled Youssef, director, Hesham Okasha, director and Fardous Abdel-Hamid, actress.
“If the revolution has made any changes in this country, then Hamdeen Sabbahi would be the president of this country,” said Kandil.
Sabbahi is a veteran Nasserist opposition figure and former member of the People's Assembly. He is also well-known for being an outspoken critic of the US and Israel.
Sabbahi officially announced his presidential bid in March 2011, opting to run on an independent ticket and not through the Nasserist Karama Party. He did not run in parliamentary elections in order to focus on the presidential contest.
Presidential elections will take place on 23 and 24 May, and the president will be named on 21 June after a runoff voting round, if necessary, on 16 and 17 June.