Coalition launches campaign supporting Tantawi for president

The newly-formed political coalition "Egypt Above All" has launched a campaign proposing Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, president of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, for president of Egypt.

Members of the coalition placed posters in several streets in Cairo and Alexandria, bearing Tantawi’s photo, with the slogan “A Popular Demand” printed underneath it.

They said they would start collecting one million signatures to a petition nominating Tantawi for the presidency.

“We believe Tantawi can lead the country to true democracy,” said coalition coordinator Mahmoud Atteya, adding that the campaign was to be launched earlier but was postponed due to various unfavorable incidents that took place recently, including the deaths of 27 Copts in clashes with the military on 9 October.

“He is the best choice among others who are backed by the United States and Europe,” Atteya said, adding that Tantawi and the military council protected the revolution against attempts by the former regime to thwart it.

Atteya’s colleague, Ahmed Saad, explained that the campaign aims to convince Tantawi to run for the presidency.

In early October, Tantawi told reporters that the military had no plans to field a presidential candidate, dismissing reports on the possibility as "rumors."

However, the rumors had emerged in response to video footage aired on state-run television showing the field marshal walking in downtown Cairo, wearing civilian clothes and shaking hands with people on the street. Speaking on the television program Mubasher Men Misr (Live from Egypt), which aired the video footage, Gamal Zayda, a journalist with the state-run Al-Ahram newspaper, said Tantawi's tour proved his suitability for the role of president.

At the time, activists expressed concern at the prospect of yet another Egyptian president from the military.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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