Free Egyptians won't back a presidential candidate

Ahram Online, Monday 14 May 2012

Liberal Free Egyptians announce Monday it will not endorse a presidential candidate as members could not reach a consensus; condemns Islamic campaigning as 'emotional blackmail'

Free Egyptians party
Free Egyptians party (Photo: Reuters)

Egypt's liberal Free Egyptians Party (FEP) announced in a Monday press statement that it will not be supporting a presidential candidate in the upcoming elections, as no one contender secured enough votes in the party's internal poll.

The liberalparty assured the public that the decision was irrevocable and had been made by its members who were asked to vote for a candidate with the most realistic program and commitment to bolstering the market economy.

Over the past two weeks, rumours have circulated that the party was leaning to towards supporting Mubarak's former foreign minister Amr Moussa, who has been facing growing criticism for having served under the ousted president.

The allegations spread after FEP co-founder and Coptic business tycoon Naguib Sawiris announced on his Twitter account his personal support for Moussa.

In the ensuing press statement, the party, known for its vocal anti-Islamist stances, strongly condemned the use of mosques in publicising presidential campaigns of Islamist candidates.

They also denounced the practice of using religious slogans in campaigning, describing it as the emotional blackmail of "millions of religiously and politically misinformed citizens in a country that suffers high levels of poverty and illiteracy."

The party called on the Supreme Presidential Electoral Commission (SPEC) as well as the government to take the necessary legal measures against violators, since using religious facilities and slogans in campaigns is, supposedly, banned by the SPEC.

The Free Egyptians Party was founded after the January 25 Revolution. The party's main objective is to promote Egypt's economic and social development. It ran under the umbrella of the liberal Egyptian Bloc during the 2011 parliamentary elections, winning 15 seats in Egypt's parliament.

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