Nasserist Sabbahi to launch 'Egyptian Popular Current' on Friday

Ahram Online , Thursday 20 Sep 2012

A new political current will be born Friday in a quest to counterbalance Islamist dominance over the Egyptian political scene

Presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabahi (C) demonstrates after a court sentenced deposed president Hosni Mubarak to life in prison at Tahrir Square in Cairo June 2, 2012 (Photo: Reuters)

The Egyptian Popular Current created by ex-presidential hopeful and Nasserist Hamdeen Sabbahi is convening next Friday in Cairo's Abdeen Square in what is believed to be a mass rally to announce the official launch of the political current.

Backers are expected to start converging Thursday afternoon to take part in the proceedings that will kick-off in the day.

"The five million votes I gained in the elections is the real grassroots force that represents all segments of society. It only needs to be organised to press on with fulfilling the demands of the revolution through a development socio-political project," said Sabbahi in an earlier statement on his official website.

Sabbahi pointed out that he is not the head of the coalition, but only one of those who called for joining the current, along with other public and national figures and avid youth.

The opening conference will be followed by a concert in celebration of the formation of the current.

A slew of public figures, intellectuals, political activists and artists along with a group of youth from the current's board is expected to join the rally. This includes journalist and prominent opponent of the Mubarak regime Hamdy Kandil, legal pundit Noha Al-Zeiny, ex-Supreme Council of the Armed Forces Advisory Council member Hanna Greis and Sheikh Mahmoud Ashour of Al-Azhar.

Sabbahi underscored that the current is not an ideological body nor is it aimed at bringing diverse political forces together under one umbrella. "It rather comprises the inclusive Egyptian national current with all its political and intellectual strains, sympathisers from different segments of society, Muslims and Christians without any favouritism. This is the bloc that fomented the revolution."

Sabbahi added that the current as a popular force outnumbers the Muslim Brotherhood in terms of members and supporters and that the latter managed to win the elections only by being better organised.

Sabbahi also added that the current might evolve into a party if its founders agree, noting that 50 per cent of the leadership posts of the current will be assigned to young people below the age of 35 years.

A number of movements have been set up recently in a bid to form a counterbalance to the Muslim Brotherhood's political ascendency. The Revolutionary Democratic Coalition was launched by a number of leftist groups Wednesday. The Egyptian Conference Party was formed Monday bringing together 25 political parties under the leadership of former Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa. June also saw the birth of the Third Current, a coalition of civil political forces that aims to preserve the civil state and provide an alternative to Islamist rule.

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