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Egypt's NSF undecided on presidential candidate, considering unified parliamentary lists

National Salvation Front says it's too early to propose a presidential candidate, considering unified lists for parliamentary elections

Ahram Online, Tuesday 1 Oct 2013
Hamdeen Sabbahi
Former presidential runner and NSF founding member Hamdeen Sabbahi (Photo:Reuters)

A leftist faction in the National Salvation Front (NSF) has proposed supporting a presidential bid by Hamdeen Sabbahi, but the front as a whole has not decided on a candidate, Al-Ahram Arabic news website reported on Tuesday.

At a meeting on Tuesday, NSF members prioritised discussing constitutional amendments and parliamentary elections, which are scheduled to take place before presidential polls.

Initially, members agreed the front would file two parliamentary election lists, one for the National Leftist camp and one for liberals.

The NSF has not discussed filing a presidential candidate, whether Sabbahi or anyone else, Wafd Party deputy leader Hossam El-Khouly told Ahram Online. It was too early to make such a decision.

The priority now, he said, was the constitution and parliamentary elections.

El-Khouly said the NSF contained a diverse range of political parties and its members cannot back a particular candidate without consulting their parties.

Conference Party member Mohamed El-Orabi also denied any agreement on a particular NSF-backed presidential candidate. His party had not decided whether to file parliamentary candidates as part of a unified NSF list, he added.

Leftist Tagammu Party leader Sayed Abdel-Aal said there was no disagreement over presidential elections but different opinions were still being considered as it was too soon to decide on a unified candidate.  

NSF co-founder Hamdeen Sabbahi came third in the 2012 presidential race with 21 percent of the vote. A campaign is underway to nominate him as a candidate at the next presidential election. He is a member of the Nasserist Karama Party and the Egyptian Popular Current. 

NSF co-founder Amr Moussa also ran in the 2012 presidential race, garnering around 11 percent.

Moussa has announced he will not run in the next poll. He is currently head of the 50-member committee amending the suspended 2012 constitution.    

The National Salvation Front is an alliance of secular political parties originally formed to defeat president Mohammed Morsi's 22 November 2012 constitutional declaration.

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