Salafist Nour Party official spokesperson Nader Bakkar (Photo: Al-Ahram)
Salafist Nour Party spokesman Nader Bakar urged Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood on Sunday to placate public fears about the group's presidential candidate, Mohamed Morsi, who is set to compete with Mubarak-era premier Ahmed Shafiq in a runoff vote on 16 and 17 June.
Morsi, chairman of the Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), won 5,553,097 votes nationwide in the first-round vote on 23 and 24 May, putting him at first place. He was followed closely by Shafiq, who picked up 5,210,978 votes.
Egypt's Supreme Presidential Electoral Commission is expected to officially announce the results on Tuesday.
Nasserist candidate Hamdeen Sabbahi came in at third place with 4,739,983 votes; moderate-Islamist Abdel-Moneim Abul-Fotouh at fourth place with 3,936,264 votes; and former Arab League chief Amr Moussa fifth with 2,407,837 votes.
The new electoral equation has left many Egyptians undecided as to who they will vote for in the runoff round.
While many believe that a Shafiq presidency would only serve to resurrect the toppled Mubarak regime (Shafiq briefly served as Mubarak's prime minister during last year's Tahrir Square uprising), others fear Brotherhood domination of Egypt's political scene (the FJP currently controls 46 percent of the People's Assembly, the lower house of Egypt's parliament).
"The Muslim Brotherhood must address all classes of Egyptian people in an effort to undo the negative perception they have [of the group and Morsi]," Bakar declared on Facebook. "It's easy to unite and overcome our fears."
The Nour Party, the second largest political party in parliament, has formally endorsed Morsi for the upcoming runoff vote.