Egypt presidential race to host military hopefuls

Analysts believe that none of the candidates with former military backgrounds stand a good chance of winning the election.

Egypt presidential race to host military hopefuls

World Bulletin/News Desk

Egypt's presidential race is most likely to be contested by several hopefuls with a military background, though their chances to win would be rather slim, experts believe.

"The coming days will see a number of former military men unveiling their bids for the presidency," Tareq Fahmi, a political science professor at the American University in Cairo, told the Anadolu Agency.

Former senior intelligence official Hossam Khairallah has already announced his intention to run for the coming presidential election, suggesting a president with a military background will be better able to work in harmony with the army.

A former paratrooper, Khairallah had run in last year's presidential election, which was won by President Mohamed Morsi, who was ousted by the military on July 3.

Khairallah came in last on the election results sheet.

Former chief of staff Sami Anan has denied widely-circulated reports about his intention to run for the country's top post.

Anan was a member of the military council that took over from Egypt's former President Hosni Mubarak, who was swept from power in 2011 following a youth-led popular revolution against his regime.

Holding a presidential election is a main component of a roadmap imposed by the military for Egypt's transition following Morsi's overthrow.

Slim chances

But analysts believe that none of the candidates with former military backgrounds stand a good chance of winning the election.

"The slim chances of these candidates could lead to a surprise candidacy by army chief Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi as a popular candidate," Fahmi said.

Military analyst Safwat al-Zayat believes that the candidacy of military personnel "will not affect the electoral scene."

"However, it will open the way for al-Sisi to run," he told the AA.

Some activists have launched a similar drive to support the candidacy of al-Sisi.

But army spokesperson Ahmed Mohamed Ali has said that al-Sisi does not intend to run for president and that "his utmost ambition is to lead the military establishment."

The spokesperson has also ruled out any potential support by the army to any candidate in the coming election.

Fahmi argues that it would be "dangerous" to have only military candidates running in the presidential election.

A campaign has been launched by some activists to nominate leftist leader Hamdeen Sabahi to run in the presidential election.

Sabahi, a major figure in the anti-Morsi opposition, had come third in the 2012 presidential race.

But al-Zayat believes that regardless of who the new president is, "Egypt will not see a stable regime until national reconciliation with the Muslim Brotherhood is realized." 

Last Mod: 25 Eylül 2013, 21:19
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