The presidential campaign coordinators of Abdel Moneim Abul-Fotouh
, Hisham Bastawisi
, Hamdeen Sabbahi
and Abul-Ezz El-Hariri
met on Sunday to start talks on agreeing on one presidential candidate to avoid splitting votes.
The three-hour meeting, held at the Sawy Culturewheel, was viewed as a positive initiative, hoping to form one team to run in the presidential race against candidates who belong to the former regime of ousted president Hosni Mubarak.
If they don't agree on one candidate, campaign coordinators agreed to turn to an unbiased arbitration committee.
The campaign coordinator of presidential contender, the activist Khaled Ali apologised for not attending the meeting.
The official spokesman for El-Hariri's campaign, Medhat Zahed, stated: "El Hariri's campaign welcomes the initiative and announced its sincere commitment to accord to one presidential candidate that belongs to the revolution."
Zahed also pointed out that there will be another meeting soon between the presidential candidates themselves to agree amongst each other on one choice.
"El-Hariri is ready to step down from the race if others did not agree that he should be the consensus candidate," confirmed Zahed. "He also proposed announcing a joint statement among the contenders condemning article 28 of constitutional declaration."
Ten points were up for discussion among the presidential contenders.
Despite their diverse backgrounds, Zahed said they were looking at several ideals that the presidential contender must support in order to come to a consensus:
- a state with a civil, democratic nature
- separation of powers
- parliament has authority to form a government and hold it accountable
- independent judiciary
- executive branch should not dominate other branches of the state
- right to form parties and freedom of speech when publishing
- freedom to form syndicates
- "bread, freedom, social justice and dignity" are priorities
- state commitment in campaign platform to provide work, shelter, clean environment, healthcare, fair wages and achieve social justice
- reject any unpatriotic programmes that counter national interest
- setting direction for relations with Arab countries
- reviewing Camp David Accord and Egypt's right to send soldiers to any point on borders
- championing a progressive state that offers resources, renovates agriculture, industry, minimises gap between rural areas and city
- working towards a democratic, independent, decentralised state
- monitoring local authorities and be proactive in withdrawing confidence from officials
The constitutional declaration was drafted by the Supreme Council for Armed Forces (SCAF) in March 2011 and approved by a plebiscite.
The controversial article 28 makes the Supreme Presidential Electorate Commission (SPEC) final decisions irreversible, i.e. unappealable.
Presidential elections will take place on 23 and 24 May, and the president will be named on 21 June after a runoff voting round - if necessary - on 16 and 17 June.