Egypt Independent

Araby being floated as potential consensus candidate

Arab League Secretary General Nabil al-Araby's name has come up in recent days as a consensus presidential candidate.

Sources close to Araby are saying that he is mulling a run for president, Al-Tahrir newspaper reported Thursday. The sources said that Araby is currently studying the possibility that a political consensus will form around his candidacy, and will decide based on the amount of support he receives.

Araby has not made any public statements on the issue.

Rumors of Araby's possible candidacy began to circulate on Wednesday, when Al-Tahrir quoted Mansour Hassan, head of the Advisory Council to the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, as saying that he would vote in Araby's favor if he runs for president, describing him as a “respectful man.”

Presidential Moussa commented on the issue in an interview Thursday on the Egyptian channel ONtv, saying that Araby's nomination “will add a lot of momentum to the election, if it is true.” Moussa said, however, that he considers political forces' efforts to select a consensus candidate as possibly affecting voters' willingness to consider other candidates.

“We should not deprive people of their right to choose, and attempts to impose a particular candidate are unacceptable,” Moussa said.

Presidential hopeful Hazem Abu Ismail, a Salafi preacher, said in a Tuesday interview on Al-Arabiya satellite channel that the military junta of attempting to impose a particular candidate on Islamist political forces.

Various local and foreign news reports have reported recently on Egyptian political forces' attempts to coalesce around a consensus candidate for president.