Sabbahi ready for debate with Sisi
Hamdeen Sabbahi - YOUM7/Ahmad Ismail

CAIRO: Hamdeen Sabbahi is ready for a televised debate with Field Marshal Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, if the latter approves, spokesperson of Sabbahi’s presidential campaign Masoum al-Marzouqi told Egypt’s state TV Saturday. 

Although some of Sabbahi’s supporters were harassed in the past few days under the pretext of the protest law, it is too early to claim that state institutions are biased towards Sisi, Marzouqi told Veto Gate March 26.

Sisi announced that he would run for president in a speech broadcasted on state television on March 26. The televised speech was followed by a short report on Sisi, as well as a report on Sabbahi.

Sabbahi has previously expressed “concerns over possible state bias” in an interview with The Cairo Post earlier in March.

However, Hossam Mo’nes, director of Sabbahi’s campaign, praised the broadcasting of the report on Sabbahi on state television, but said it disregarded Sabbahi’s “central role in fighting the regime of the Muslim Brotherhood.”

“We are awaiting the Egyptian television’s approval of an official request that we will submit to broadcast a speech to the Egyptian people by presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabbahi,” Mo’nes said on Twitter on March 26.

The Presidential Elections Committee is set to announce a timetable for the presidential elections for March 30, Al-Ahram reported on March 22.

Further, Egypt’s state radio plans to provide “impartial coverage” of all presidential candidates, head of Egyptian Radio Abdel Rahman Rashad said in a statement March 26.

The radio shows intend to host senior politicians and intellectuals to analyze candidate’s electoral platforms, with opportunities for listeners to call in, Rashad said.

Additional reporting by Samir Hosni.

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