A snap shot of Farid Zahran, Chairman of Egyptian Socialist Democratic Party during a video declaring his decision to run in Egypt s upcoming presidential election. Photo courtesy of Egyptian Socialist Democratic Party.
"I affirm that my presidential election platform and campaign will reflect the party's programme and ideology, which stand in firm opposition to the ruling regime, and that they will also be based on the positions of the Egyptian opposition and democratic civilian movement," said Zahran in a video statement on Thursday.
He added that he has high hopes that the upcoming presidential election will be a step on the road towards a democratic transition.
The Egyptian Social Democratic Party held an urgent meeting on Thursday to review the party's stance on the upcoming presidential election, as the National Election Authority is set to announce its timetable on Monday.
The meeting was attended by 134 members out of the party's total 143.
According to a party statement, "After a ten-hour meeting, 75 per cent of members voted in favour of Zahran running for president, 15 per cent objected and 10 per cent abstained."
The party's statement acknowledged the government's good gesture of releasing a "limited number" of activists from prison. It added, however, that this is insufficient to guarantee an atmosphere of integrity and fairness for the presidential election.
Zahran and the Egyptian Social Democratic Party will continue lobbying for a more democratic system which can elect a leader able to resolve the country's economic crisis, for which the ruling regime is to blame, said the statement.
The party's statement noted that "There were hopes that the Egyptian opposition would unite behind one presidential candidate. But as these hopes have come to nothing, we put forward Farid Zahran, who is a senator, as our opposition candidate in the 2024 presidential election."
Article 142 requires the presidential candidate to secure endorsements from 20 MPs or 25,000 registered voters spread across at least 15 governorates, with a minimum of 1,000 endorsements from each governorate.
The Egyptian Social Democratic Party, founded in 2011 as a leftist party, has only 9 MPs.