Sabbahi sees no stability for Egypt in near future

Ahram Online, Monday 11 Jun 2012

Former presidential candidate, Hamdeen Sabbahi, says neither the Brotherhood Morsi nor Mubarak-era Shafiq would lead Egypt out of political turmoil

Hamdeen Sabbahi (Photo: Ahram Archives)

Eliminated presidential candidate, Hamdeen Sabbahi, says Egypt will not attain political stability whether the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi or the last Mubarak prime minister Ahmed Shafiq assumes power.

“Neither one of them will achieve what Egyptians want,” the Nasserist leader told anchor Khairy Ramadan during a live interview on CBC TV on Sunday night.

“One of them [Shafiq] is a product of the oppressive regime and the other [Morsi] is seeking to dominate power.”

Many Egyptians fear that Shafiq, who makes no secret of his admiration of the deposed president Mubarak, would seek to resurrect the policies of the old regime should he win the presidential elections.

Others voice concerns that Morsi in power would enable the Brotherhood to tighten their grip on the political arena, with the group’s political wing the Freedom and Justice Party [FJP] boasting nearly half of the parliament’s seats, and consequently implement a strict version of the Islamic Sharia law.

“We are facing a tough predicament because both candidates do not represent the majority of Egyptians … Both of them adopt policies that contradict the principles of the January revolution,” added Sabbahi who closely finished third in the elections’ highly contested first round on 24 May behind Morsi and Shafiq.

During the past days, revolutionary forces, including the April 6 Youth Movement and the Revolution Youth Coalition, have been calling for the formation of a temporary presidential council which could immediately assume power from the ruling junta.

Sabbahi has been one of three presidential candidates who have been pushing for the implementation of the idea, but he denied to Ramadan it was his child.

“I called for the formation of a presidential council after meeting with [other eliminated candidates] Abdel-Moneim Abul-Fotouh and Khaled Ali, and not because I was disqualified,” said Sabbahi.

“It is not my idea; it came from Tahrir Square [the epicenter of the 2011 uprising]. No specific individual came up with it.”

The runoff vote of Egypt’s presidential elections is slated for 16 an 17 of June.

Egypt's High Constitutional Court is set on 14 June to decide on whether a parliament-issued law to disenfranchise Ahmed Shafiq from political life - thus disqualifying him from the runoffs  - merits implementation.

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