Leftist party to support Bastawisi for president

The left-wing Tagammu Party on Monday said it plans to support presidential aspirant Hesham al-Bastawisi for president if reform advocate Mohamed ElBaradei insists upon not running.

Bastawisi is a reformist judge who took part in the fight for judicial independence under former President Mubarak’s regime. Last March, he announced his intent to run for president.

Nabil Atris, member of the party’s general secretariat, said that his party expects Bastawisi to gain the support of all secular forces in Egypt.

 “We will coordinate with the Egyptian Bloc and the left-wing parties to agree on a secular candidate in the face of the Islamist candidates or the candidates who are backed by the military,” Atris said.

“Bastawisi is a democratic man who understands the goals of the revolution,” he said. “Also, he has a better chance than any other left-wing candidate.”

He explained that Tagammu first thought of supporting activist attorney Khaled Ali or Abul Ezz al-Hariry of the Socialist Popular Alliance Party, but decided that the “battle” for a civil state requires the leftist and liberal parties to agree on a democratic candidate.

Meanwhile, sources from Tagammu said that the party is currently preparing a draft proposal for the new constitution to be presented to the party’s General Secretariat on 10 March.

They also said the secretariat would discuss the party’s conference that was scheduled for March but is expected to be postponed.

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