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Egypt's Salvation Front refuses to back Sabahi's presidential bid

February 5, 2014 at 2:12 am

The National Salvation Front in Egypt is split over support for Hamdeen Sabahi, a possible candidate for the presidency, because General Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi has still not confirmed whether or not he will stand. Speculation is now rife over who the party’s favoured candidate might be.

According to Majdi Hamdan, a member of the NSF and a leader in the Democratic Front Party, the Popular Current Party exercises considerable pressure on the Front to support Sabahi’s candidacy. “Azazi Ali Azazi from the PCP exploits his position as the Front’s spokesman to announce the Front’s support for Sabahi,” he explained. “However, the majority of the Front’s parties do not support the idea due to Sabahi’s diminishing popularity”. Hamdan said that it is unlikely that the NSF will choose a particular candidate to support, leaving separate parties free to endorse their own favoured candidates. “That’s why the parties will not agree on a specific person to support. No party has officially declared its support for Sabahi.”

Hamdan pointed out that a number of leading politicians have already made it known that they would back Al-Sisi should he decide to contest the presidential election. The support of Dr Mohamed Abul-Ghar, the leader of the Social Democratic Party, Ambassador Mohamed Orabi, the leader of the Congress Party as well as Dr. Osama Al Ghazali Harb, the leader of the Democratic Front Party, will encourage the possibility of Al-Sisi being endorsed by the NSF.

A spokesman for the Popular Current Party said that such endorsement does not reflect the Front’s final decision. “The Front members will meet to discuss the options and select one candidate to support,” insisted Ahmed Atef. “A few members support Sabahi’s bid but no formal discussions have taken place. He dismissed the smear campaign against the NSF’s leadership as “pure politics” arising from their success in “eliminating” the Muslim Brotherhood.