CAIRO: A recent campaign promoting the nomination of Gamal Mubarak — son of incumbent President Hosni Mubarak — for the presidency in 2011 has drawn wide criticism among opposition groups.
The campaign was launched earlier this week by a newly-formed group called “The Popular Coalition to Support Gamal Mubarak” led by Magdy El-Kurdy, ironically a member of leftist Tagammu opposition party member.
El-Kurdy’s move stirred sarcastic reactions from opposition groups.
“What is so surprising is that El-Kurdy was one of the most active members of the committees that supported the Palestinian Intifada throughout the past few years,” co-founder of the Kefaya Movement for Change Karima El-Hefnawy told Daily News Egypt on Thursday.
“He even used to join us in anti-regime protests,” El-Hefnawy, also a member of the recently formed the Egyptian Association for Change.
According to El-Hefnawy, there are two justifications for El-Kurdy’s move.
“Such a sudden shift in his political orientation either reflects ideological confusion or misconception,” El-Hefnawy explained.
Even though El-Kurdy recurrently denied that Mubarak, the son, or any other parties were behind the campaign, El-Hefnawy does not rule out the possibility that his actions were indirectly supported by the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP).
“It could be an attempt to gauge Egyptians’ reaction to the possibility of Gamal being president,” she argued.
Wall posters that put forward Mubarak’s 47-year-old son, also head of the policies secretariat of the NDP, as a potential candidate for the 2011 presidential poll, were recently spotted on walls in some lower-income neighborhoods.
Some posters carried the slogan “Gamal…Egypt” with his photo on them.
On Wednesday, the April 6 Youth Movement released a statement describing the campaign as “humorous.”
“Even though [security] bodies will facilitate hanging the posters of this comedy … while suppressing those of April 6 and their activities, we are quite sure that the [Egyptian] street supports us,” the movement said.
“[And] despite the suppression we have always encountered, we are certain that we can reach out to [Egyptian citizens] through our simple means.”
El-Kurdy called on opposition groups like April 6 and Kefaya to join the campaign and work hand-in-hand for the “interest of the nation.”
“What is funny about this is that [El-Kurdy] called on the April 6 youth to join such a bizarre campaign … which proves that he’s out of touch with reality,” the movement said.