CAIRO: In light of his upcoming presidential bid, Hamdeen Sabbahi has appeared on various television channels, announcing the plans for his electoral program.
Most recently, in an interview on CBC channel late Thursday, he called on people to donate to his campaign, stating that he required 15 million EGP (U.S. $2.155 million).
Sabbahi also said that he is the only candidate so far, adding that Field Marshal Abdel Fatah al-Sisi has not yet declared his candidacy.
Yet, while Sabbahi speculated that Sisi’s popularity might decrease, a recent poll from Baseera Center indicated that Sisi still maintains high popularity, with 51 percent of Egyptians stating that they will vote for him, compared to only one percent who planned on voting for Sabbahi.
However, the poll also indicated that 45 percent of Egyptians are still undecided, with the majority undecided over who to vote for, while only six percent undecided over whether or not they will vote.
However, candidacy will only be officialized when the Supreme Presidential Elections Committee (SPEC) announces the list of candidates. SPEC is set to announce the date for announcing the list of candidates on Saturday.
Yet, Sabbahi stated that he has discussed the issue of the youth arrested in accordance with the protest law with interim President Adly Mansour. In turn Mansour affirmed that he will review the matter, and investigate into the attacks on activists Ahmed Doma and Ahmed Maher prior to their trial session on March 10.
Sabbahi further reaffirmed his rejection of the protest law, calling for a public discussion over the law. Head of the Lawyers’ Syndicate Sameh Ashour launched an initiative on March 16, calling for the abolition of the protest law. However, while the initiative is supported by a sizeable faction of party youth, the government has yet to show any indication of acknowledging it.
Hamdeen added in the interview that while he supports the country’s fight against terrorism, “the Interior Ministry has made mistakes, which require adjustments.”
Further, Sabbahi stated that having multiple candidates is a positive confirmation of the democratic process, warning against pulling out of the elections if there is any indication of electoral fraud.