Egyptian liberals, Copts, Ultras hop on Abul-Fotouh's presidential bandwagon

News article, posted 05.21.2012, from Egypt, in:
Egyptian liberals, Copts, Ultras hop on Abul-Fotouh's presidential bandwagon (Photo: Al Ahram)

The electoral campaign of moderate-Islamist presidential candidate Abdel-Moneim Abul-Fotouh is considered one of the largest in terms of volunteer numbers, which have currently reached some 96,000 according to campaign organisers. The campaign is also the most diverse in terms of the socio-political backgrounds and views of its members.

Abul-Fotouh’s political adviser is Rabab El-Mahdy, a Marxist political science professor; his media adviser is liberal journalist Ali Bahnaswy; his economic adviser is economics professor Samer Atallah, a liberal and a Christian; and his campaign manager is Mohamed El-Shahawy, a doctor and former Muslim Brotherhood member. A recent rally in Cairo for Abul-Fotouh witness liberal activist Wael Ghoneim and head of Salafist party Al-Nour, Emad Abdel-Ghafour

Despite Abul-Fotouh’s patently Islamist credentials – he, too, was once a leading Brotherhood member – his campaign has attracted several Christian volunteers. Several prominent Christian figures have also publically endorsed his campaign, including Sherif Dous and Manal Maher.

Mina Fayek, a Christian Abul-Fotouh campaign volunteer in the Cairo suburb of Heliopolis, told Ahram Online that he had volunteered in order to support Abul-Fotouh's "moderate stream" of political Islam in hopes of pre-empting extremism and the polarisation of Egyptian society.

"Even though his campaign has been endorsed by extremist parties like the [Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya's] Building and Development Party, I support him because he represents the common ground between Egypt's different political groups and parties," Mina said.

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