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Some activists have called for a boycott of the presidential elections after former Vice President Omar Suleiman announced he will run for president, saying it will reproduce ex-President Hosni Mubarak’s regime.
A group of activists who call themselves the “National Front for Justice and Democracy” called for a conference Monday to examine boycotting what they described as the “election farce.”
The 75-year-old Suleiman is considered a figure very loyal to Mubarak. He served as intelligence chief for 18 years and, when Mubarak was facing the toughest challenge against his 30-year rule, he picked Suleiman as his vice president days before an 18-day uprising forced Mubarak down.
“In short, Major General Omar Suleiman embodies the former regime like no other. In fact, he embodies it more than [ex-President] Hosni Mubarak himself,” the group said in a statement on Facebook.
But in his first public remarks after submitting his candidacy application, Suleiman said that if elected president, he will not attempt to “reinvent” the ousted regime. He hailed the revolution that toppled Mubarak, saying it has created a “new reality that cannot be reversed.”
However, revolutionary groups demonstrate clear animosity for Suleiman.
On Sunday, human rights activists and presidential hopeful Khaled Ali said Suleiman will only become president “over our dead bodies.”
“Omar Suleiman means destruction,” Ali said in an interview with Tahrir satellite channel.
In its statement, the National Front for Justice and Democracy said Suleiman’s nomination has uncovered the biggest farce to create the illusion that power will be handed over to a civilian president through elections.
Activist Omar Kamel wrote on Twitter, “Every vote cast in the ballot box serves the interests of the SCAF. Bringing down the rule of the military requires that we take to the streets rather than go to the polls. Wake up, Egypt!”
Other activists, meanwhile, opposed the boycott and believe that revolutionaries should back the candidate they see as genuinely representative of the revolution.
“Those who call for boycotting the election are the same as those supporting a candidate with low odds of winning: They are not being serious at a time when the revolution is being slaughtered. There is no solution but to unite behind the candidate with the best chances,” leftist activist Jehan Shabaan wrote on Twitter.