Hamdeen Sabbahi cleverly refrained from running in the presidential election, instead backing Ahmed Shafik, who represented the opposition spectrum.
Shafik’s situation, however, is ambiguous and will remain so until the 2018 presidential race.
Do not rely too much on the predictions of those who belong to Shafik’s Egyptian National Movement Party; if Shafik had the intention to run in the elections, he would have announced it.
It would be good if Shafik were to run, and better still if others decide to, as we want it to be a truly competitive election.
Rather than harming the position of the president, this (having a rival) fully supports his stance.
Whomever finds within themselves the capacity to lead a country with the weight of Egypt and its problems, and regards the will of the Egyptian people: the door is open to them, and to close that door would be antidemocratic.
The main issue is potential candidates’ reluctance to run, which is spreading like electricity through political blocs.
This is a great national loss. The reluctance of Egyptian candidates is due to the pretext that elections would be “nationalized”, and in favor of particular candidates.
Candidates have the right to demand electoral guarantees on national grounds.
If nominees for the candidacy withdraw for safety reasons, then we will not live in peace.
Candidates that withdraw from the 2018 election will have themselves to blame, as the president opened the door for them. Those who fear blame should indeed avoid running, as the road to the presidency is filled with hardships and the rule of Egypt is no picnic.
We do not want a referendum on a second term for the current president, and we must reject misguided proposals to extend the current term. We want the upcoming elections to happen on time, and be a real competition between a president who will provide a statement on his term in office and a supplementary program, and an ambitious competitor with a different program that aims to benefit the welfare of Egyptian people.
The problems of Egypt will not be solved by comments or articles or interviews describing the current situation without providing an alternative, a candidate and a program.
The opportunity to announce intentions to run for the 2018 elections is there.
We have the right to participate in real presidential elections.
The current president is no longer the candidate of necessity, he has become a presidential candidate, and now the ultimate necessity is to find a rival for the president.