FJP refutes report it will back Advisory Council leader for president

A top leader of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party on Wednesday dismissed reports that his party is considering backing the head of the military-appointed Advisory Council for the presidency as “baseless” and “nonsense.”

Al-Masry Al-Youm Arabic Edition, Egypt Independent’s sister publication, wrote Tuesday that “well-informed sources” said FJP leaders and other political forces are contemplating throwing their full support behind Mansour Hassan for the presidency.

“This issue was neither discussed in the [party’s] high board nor the executive bureau,” Azab Mostafa, a member of the FJP’s high board, told Egypt Independent. “Until now, we have not determined our position on any of candidates."

He said when the nomination process officially begins, “then, we will look into the candidates’ platforms and resumes and see who is the best candidate for the next phase.”

According to the most recent transitional road map announced by Egypt’s military rulers, candidates can officially apply starting in mid-April, and the presidential poll should finish before July.  

In recent weeks, Hassan’s name has been floating around as a potential candidate that Egypt’s two key political players namely the Muslim Brotherhood and the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces can back. Hassan has not announced whether he will enter the race, but he told a privately owned satellite channel last week that he is willing to run if it can serve the country.

Meanwhile, a group of residents from Hassan’s hometown in Sharqiya Governorate reportedly launched a campaign to mobilize support for the 75-year-old politician, who served in former President Anwar Sadat’s cabinet. A Facebook page has been created for the same purpose.

Since then-President Hosni Mubarak took over in late 1981, Hassan remained outside government circles. In December, he returned to political life when he was appointed chairman of the civilian Advisory Council created by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces.

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