Presidential election results anything but settled: Sabbahi

Ahram Online , Thursday 13 Feb 2014

Egypt's Hamdeen Sabbahi, who plans to run for president, says it is premature to be confident about the result of Egypt's presidential elections; confirms probable candidate Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi's popularity

Hamdeen Sabbahi
Leftist leader Hamdeen Sabbahi speaks during an interview with Reuters in Cairo, 29 April 2013 (Photo: Reuters)

Hamdeen Sabbahi, Egypt's only politician to announce his intention to run for the country's presidency so far, said election results aren't as decisively in favour of army chief Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi – who is widely expected to run – as many Egyptians have come to believe.

The founder of the leftist Egyptian Popular Current movement and Nasserist Karama Party said on prominent TV host Yousri Fouda's show, aired on privately owned ONTV, that despite the popularity of his possible contender, which he appreciates, "the Egyptian people aren't pledged to any single person."

His assertion of the fact that election results are anything but settled came in response to Fouda's question on the rationale behind participating in a contest with a predetermined outcome.

Underlining the distinction differentiating between them, Sabbahi stressed that El-Sisi is a military hero while he is an activist from among the people. 

Sabbahi, who announced his presidential bid on Saturday, proved to be the dark horse of Egypt's last presidential elections. Having come in third ahead of candidates expected to lead the race, such as long-time liberal politician Amr Moussa, Sabbahi is no novice competitor.

On Tuesday, Moussa – who headed the constitution-amending committee that issued Egypt's latest charter – said after a meeting with El-Sisi that the field marshal had chosen to nominate himself and would soon announce the decision.

Speculations over El-Sisi's nomination have run wild following the numerous hints and statements made by the army and other top politicians alluding to his intention to contend in the presidential elections.

During Fouda's TV interview, Sabbahi also implied his hope of being the only candidate representing the revolution, stating that he was keen to discuss the matter with leftist lawyer Khaled Ali, another former presidential candidate. 

Sabbahi also praised Egypt's army, saying it is impossible to rule without the army's support and adding that the army's unity is impossible without its alignment with the revolution.

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