In push to become consensus candidate, Morsy promises coalition government

News article, posted 05.29.2012, from Egypt, in:
In push to become consensus candidate, Morsy promises coalition government (Photo: Al-Masry Al-Youm)

In an effort to build consensus and woo a broader base of support as he heads into the final leg of presidential elections, Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsy has agreed to form a presidential council and a coalition government, according to campaign spokesman Yasser Ali.

Official voting results for the first round of elections held last week have put Morsy on top with more than 5.7 million votes, followed by Ahmed Shafiq with more than 5.5 million votes, qualifying both for the runoff scheduled for 16 and 17 June. Nearly 23 million valid ballots were cast, according to official results announced by the Presidential Elections Commission Monday.

Talk about concessions from the Brotherhood has intensified since the results of the first round put him in a tight race with Shafiq. Many revolution groups said that backing Morsy in the upcoming runoffs would depend on concessions from Morsy and his Freedom and Justice Party, which also dominates Parliament.

Following a meeting with coalitions and revolutionary youth movements Monday, Morsy has demonstrated his readiness to build consensus to protect the revolution, according to Ali. He has agreed to some demands, including to appoint deputies and advisors and devise a constitution that represents all Egyptians.

One disagreement was over Morsy's conceding his position to leftist candidate Hamdeen Sabbahi who ranked third in the first round of presidential elections, which the campaign called "illegal and unacceptable."

“Some demands were unreasonable, such as asking Morsy to bow out of the race in favor of Hamdeen Sabbahi, which is illegal,” Ali said. “Another demand was that Morsy unveil decisions he would adopt once elected during the meeting, which cannot be done right now, for Morsy cannot predict the decisions he will make over the next two years.

The remarkable electoral successes made by Shafiq, the last prime minister to serve under toppled President Hosni Mubarak, have rattled revolutionary forces and many Egyptians who hoped to break with the old regime. The frustration provoked calls by various political figures and groups for consensus among presidential candidates to ensure Shafiq does not win the runoff.

Ali said Morsy is also meeting with businessmen and public figures and would meet with other former presidential candidates soon.

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