Labour lawyer to become youngest candidate in Egypt presidential race
Ahram Online, Sunday 26 Feb 2012
41-year-old labour lawyer and leftist activist, Khaled Ali, throws hat into presidential ring following a career of defending workers and revolutionaries in courts

Labour lawyer Khaled Ali will become the youngest candidate to enter Egypt's presidential race when he officially launches his campaign on Monday in Cairo.

The 41-year-old played significant a role in the labour and youth movements prior to the January 25 Revolution.

Malek Adly, Ali's campaign coordinator, said Ali took the step after many people endorsed him and because he sees the election as vital for the fulfilment of the revolution's goals.

"I decided to join the race after I was encouraged by a large number of supporters in the labour and student movements," Ali stated.

"They took part in the most peaceful revolution in the world and are determined to build a just and free society."

Ali isa former director of the Egyptian Centre for Economic and Social Rights and the Hisham Mubarak Law Centre. He is also a founder of the Front for the Defence of Egyptian Protesters, an initiative set up in 2008to provide legal support to labour movement protesters in the industrial city of Mahalla in the Delta region.

In 2010, Ali won a landmark ruling whereby the courts mandated a 1200 Egyptian pounds per month as a minimum wage for all workers.

In the aftermath of the January 25 revolution, Ali continued to represent protesters accused of wrongdoing by the state as well as families of martyrs.

Again, in 2011, Ali secured another major legal victory for public sector workers who lost jobs to privatisation schemes during the Mubarak-era when he convinced courts to re-nationalise three major companies that were previously sold to private investors.