Amr Moussa, outgoing general secretary of the Arab League and candidate for the Egyptian presidency, enraged citizens of Assiut by holding a conference at the house of a member of the ousted regime. Local press reports said large numbers boycotted the conference, held in the town of Abu Teeg.
The reports said that it was held on Saturday at the house of Omar Abu Salem, a former parliamentary candidate for the now disbanded National Democratic Party (NDP), who also coordinated the presidential campaign of Gamal, son of deposed president Hosni Mubarak.
Facing mounting criticism over his affiliation with the ousted regime, Moussa has struggled to rally supporters since declaring his intention to run in the elections scheduled for the end of this year.
Moussa served as Mubarak's foreign minister before being appointed secretary general of the Arab League. He is widely considered a part of the collapsed regime of Mubarak.
Moussa kicked off his presidential campaign on Tuesday in Upper Egypt, with a tour of Aswan, Luxor, Sohag, Qena, Assiut, Minya and Beni Suef.
Moussa also came up against scathing criticism from a number of young people during his visit to Sohag on Thursday. They said they belonged to the 25 January revolution coalition and that they attacked Moussa for his reliance on NDP leaders.
"Electing Moussa would mean a revival of the former regime," said Belal Diab, a Wafd Party representative within the coalition.
Moussa meanwhile distanced himself from the NDP, saying that he had never been a member of any political party, and had no ties to supporters or members of the NDP.
“I will run as an independent, and will remain independent if I am elected, and you should judge me on that basis,” Moussa said.