CAIRO: The Muslim Brotherhood’s political arm the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) denied Wednesday reports that it is endorsing head of the advisory council and former minister of information Mansour Hassan as Egypt’s new president.
Sobhi Saleh, leading FJP member, said these claims were "completely false" and "baseless."
"Who we decide to support as Egypt’s upcoming president is a topic that hasn’t been discussed within the party because its time hasn’t come yet," Saleh told Daily News Egypt.
Ahmed Abu Baraka, leading FJP member, echoed Saleh’s statements saying that the issue is yet to be discussed within the group.
Al-Masry Al -Youm published a report on its website late Tuesday saying that a leading FJP member in Cairo will launch a campaign endorsing Hassan as a presidential candidate in the next 10 days, in coordination with other political parties.
The report quotes an anonymous source saying that there’s a general consensus over Hassan from political parties, adding that he has a good chance of being a strong contender in the upcoming presidential race slated for the end of June.
However, Wafiq Al-Ghitani, leading member of Al-Wafd Party, said that his party will not support Hassan or any other presidential hopeful currently on the scene.
"We will nominate our own candidate to run in the presidential elections, but we still haven’t decided who to nominate yet," Al-Ghitani told DNE.
On his part, Nader Bakkar, spokesperson of the Salafi Al-Nour Party, said his party would announce the presidential candidate it endorses after the door closes for registration for candidates.
The registration process for presidential candidates is expected to start in April, according to the latest schedule announced by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF).
The FJP and Al-Nour swept the polls in the parliamentary elections which kicked off on Nov.28, winning around 70 percent of the seats.
The Muslim Brotherhood has repeatedly stressed that it wouldn’t support any of its members or former members in the presidential race. Presidential hopeful Abdel-Moneim Abol Fotoh was sacked from the group after he decided to compete in the presidential elections.
After Nobel laureate Mohamed ElBaradei’s withdrawal from the presidential race earlier this week, the most prominent contenders left in the presidential race are Abol Fotoh, former Arab League secretary general Amr Moussa, former leader of Al-Karama Party Hamdin Sabbahy, former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq and Ayman Nour, head of the Revolutionary Al-Ghad Party.
On the other hand, a campaign was launched in Sharqeya to back Hassan as Egypt’s first president following Hosni Mubarak’s autocratic regime, according to media reports.
Abou Kebir district in Sharqeya is Hassan’s hometown, where he served as MP in 1974 under the reign of late President Anwar El-Sadat, Al- Ahram online wrote quoting Ahmed Naguib, leader of the campaign.
Hassan was also Egypt’s Minister of Culture and Information in the late 70s and early 80s, before El-Sadat’s assassination.
He didn’t call for this campaign and is yet to announce whether he decides to join the presidential race or not.