A new potential presidential candidate joins the long list of Egypt's presidential candidates. Abu El Ezz El Hariri, who recently won a seat in the post-revolution parliament, announced today in an interview with pan-Arab newspaper Al-Sharq Al-Awsat that he intends to run for the president.
"I will present myself as a national consensus candidate to prove that a secular presidential candidate can win in free elections after the revolution," El-Hariri said.
Hariri’s presidential bid comes after the political Islamic parties have managed to win the majority of seats in the first two rounds of elections. The Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, won 48 per cent of the seats in the first two rounds of the parliamentary elections, while the Salafist Nour Party won 24 per cent. The two parties are expected to maintain this share of the parliament after the third round of elections, due to begin on 3 January.
El-Hariri, one of the founders of the leftist Socialist Popular Alliance party, accused both the Muslim Brotherhood and Nour Party of exploiting the needs of the poor by collecting zakat (alms) and then redistributing it to buy people's sympathy and votes. "Do the Brotherhood or the Salafists or their parties have a programme to help the poor to get out of the vicious circle of poverty? The truth is they don't," he said.
El-Hariri joins a number of potential candidates expected to run in presidential elections scheduled to take place by the end of June. The list also includes former secretary-general of the Arab League Amr Moussa, Noble peace prize winner Mohamed ElBaradei, former leading figure in the Muslim Brotherhood Abdel Moneim Aboul-Fotouh, and Salafist scholar Hazem Salah Abou Ismail.