Former presidential candidate and Al-Tayar Al-Sha’aby leader Hamdeen Sabahy announced on Monday that he would run for the presidency in the upcoming elections if a national consensus is reached naming a “candidate of the revolution”.
“It is an honour to address you in expression of my respect, gratitude, appreciation and my will to run for presidency as you suggested,” Sabahy said in his statement addressing the Revolution Candidate campaign. Sabahy stated, however, that he would only run if “a national consensus” were reached “regarding the name of the Revolution Candidate, his programme and his presidential team. I will be honoured if my name is chosen, and I will be equally honoured to support any agreed-upon [candidate].”
The presidential elections are slated for 2014, however a precise date has not yet been set.
Sabahy made his announcement Monday in a statement read to the attendants of Revolution Candidate campaign’s conference. Sabahy did not attend the conference.
The campaign, founded in September 2013, supported Sabahy and has dubbed him as the “Revolution Candidate” since its initiation.
Sabahy also called on “revolutionary forces” to participate in the referendum on the constitution and run for the upcoming parliamentary elections with “one political programme”, which would only happen, according to Sabahy, if “all revolutionary forces engage in a political dialogue and form an electoral alliance.”
“The masses of our free people, which overthrew tyranny twice on 25 January and 30 June, are, no doubt, looking for a [president] to embody the dream of achieving the goals of the revolution, especially social justice, to begin the fight against poverty, and to continue the war against terrorism” Sabahy added.
Mahmoud Al-Sakka , a secretary for the Revolution Candidate campaign, confirmed that the campaign officially supports Sabahy for the presidency.
Sabahy had earlier announced that he will not run for president if current Minister of Defense Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi does. Al-Sisi did not rule out a possible presidential bid in an interview with Kuwaiti Al-Seyassah on Thursday.
Sabahy, 59, graduated from the Faculty of Mass Communication in Cairo University in 1976, where was known for his student activism and served as the vice-president of Egypt’s Student Union. Sabahy was detained on different occasions under former presidents Anwar Al-Sadat and Hosni Mubarak and is known for his Nasserist positions. He made it to parliament in 2005 as a representative for his hometown of Kafr Al-Sheikh.
After the 25 January Revolution, Sabahy ran for the presidency and claimed third place in the first round with 20.72% of the votes, failing to reach the presidential runoff that took place between Mohamed Morsi and Ahmed Shafiq.
He later formed the Al-Tayar Al-Sha’aby political coalition, which is a part of the National Salvation Front (NSF), the spearhead of opposition to former President Morsi.