Presidential hopeful describes consensus candidate idea as ‘silly joke’

Selecting a consensus candidate for president is not democratic, media professional and presidential hopeful Bothaina Kamel said Tuesday, describing the idea as a “silly joke.”

In a talk show aired on the privately owned channel CBC, Kamel warned the majority would form the equivalent of another National Democratic Party, the ruling party during Mubarak's reign.

Several presidential hopefuls have rejected the idea of a consensus candidate for the upcoming election, including Hazem Abu Ismail, Mohamed Selim al-Awa and Amr Moussa.

Local newspapers recently reported rumors and discussions surrounding the idea of a consensus candidate for president, referring to Arab League Secretary General Nabil al-Araby as a potential pick. Araby later denied any intent to run for the post.

News about Araby’s potential nomination circulated in dailies such as Al-Shorouk, Al-Tahrir and Al-Masry Al-Youm. Reports said Araby might be chosen as the consensus candidate to be backed by both the Muslim Brotherhood and the ruling military council.

Kamel said she no longer believes in the impossible, especially after the 25 January revolution, which she said was a “critical moment” for her.

“The revolution is being fought and revolutionaries are being punished,” she said, adding that she believes people will only vote for whoever works for their interests.

She said she regards the victory of the revolution as a victory for her. She described her presidential campaign as “exceptional” and said she considers herself a winner.

Regarding religious forces' stances toward the nomination of a woman for president, Kamel said she is waiting for them to declare their positions. She said the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party expressed appreciation for her but that appreciation is “not enough.”

FJP hasn’t announced yet which presidential hopeful it will support, but has said it will not nominate a candidate from within the Brotherhood.

Commenting on accusations that MP Zyad Elelaimy insulted military council chief Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, Kamel said people are only paying attention to verbal wrangles while the need to hold people accountable for the recent Port Said football violence is being ignored.

Elelaimy had used a proverb about a donkey to describe how he thought Tantawi was escaping blame for the violence earlier this month that left 74 dead.

Translated from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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