National Council for Youth: Non-NDP president possible within 20 years

National Council for Youth Chairman Safi Eddin Kharboush said Egypt may have a president from outside the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) within the next twenty years.

Kharboush, who is also a prominent member of the NDP, called on Egyptian opposition parties to seek more support from the street and to nominate candidates for the Egyptian presidency.

Speaking in an interview with Mahmoud Muslim on the television program “Ultimate Politics” broadcast on Monday, Kharboush said he is however against independent candidacies for president.

“I requested [that independent candidates not be recognized] when Article 76 [of the Constitution] was amended,” he said, adding that independent candidates are not permitted “in most countries.”

Kharboush said every country in the world places restrictions on elections, and if National Association for Change (NAC) leader Mohamed ElBaradei wishes to stand for the presidency he must “follow the rules of the game” and not “impose his own conditions on the way the game is played.”

“If he wants change then let him work toward it, according to the rules currently in place,” Kharboush said.

The youth council chairman said the desire of Egypt’s young people for change is a positive phenomenon, but its downside is that this can be translated into illegal activity.

Kharboush said Egypt’s youth centers have become a “private domain” for the country’s youth in recent years, and the state has not voiced any objections to this change. He said his recent decision to allow youth to take on the management of the centers was aimed at returning the centers to their true owners.

Asked about the role of youth centers during elections, Kharboush said he will not permit them to be used by political candidates during the upcoming parliamentary elections, including by NDP candidates.

The National Council for Youth is a government body with responsibility for youth-related issues.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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