'Wise men' to select 'pro-revolution' presidential candidate

Ahram Online, Wednesday 25 Apr 2012

Campaign coordinators of five presidential candidates along with prominent activists selected on Tuesday ten possible names to sit on a committee of 'wise men' that will eventually back a consensus presidential candidate

Five Top Presidential Candidates
Elhariri, Sabahi, Khaled ali, Abu El Fatouh, Bastawisi

The names of ten possible committee members tasked with selecting a single pro-revolution presidential candidate were selected on Tuesday with the backing of five presidential campaigns.

The campaign coordinators of Abdel-Moneim Abul-Fotouh, Hisham Bastawisi, Hamdeen Sabbahi, Khaled Ali and Abul-Ezz El-Hariri, along with Tahrir Square Imam Mazhar Shaheen and prominent activist Ammar Aly Hassan on Tuesday agreed on the composition of a 'committee of wise men' that will select a single pro-revolution candidate to run in May's election. The four other candidates will step down from the race and back the consensus candidate.

During the meeting the names of several prominent pro-revolution figures were put forward as possible committee members, including Mohamed ElBaradei, Egyptian Social Democratic Party head Mohamed Abul-Ghar, National Association for Change head Abdel-Geleel Mustafa, former Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Kamal El-Halabawy, Mazhar Shaheen and Ammar Aly Hassan.

Shaheen and Hussein are the only people to have formally agreed to sit on the committee so far.

The consensus candidate chosen by the committee will be announced before 7 May, which is the closing date for candidates to step down from the election.

The campaign coordinators agreed on general policy areas such as the need for a civil state, citizenship rights, the separation of powers, an independent judiciary and freedom of speech and association, among others.

It was also agreed that the consensus candidate would represent all revolutionary trends, not a single narrow ideology or political affiliation.

The presidential campaign coordinators of Abul-Fotouh, Bastawisi, Sabbahi and El-Hariri met Sunday to start talks on selecting a single consensus presidential candidate to avoid splitting the pro-revolution vote. The three-hour meeting, held at the El Sawy Culturewheel, was viewed as a positive initiative.

Presidential elections will take place over two days, 23 and 24 May, and the president will be named on 21 June after a runoff voting round on 16 and 17 June.

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