Political groups meet to agree on presidential candidate

Several political groups met Tuesday to agree on a presidential hopeful to avoid fragmentation in the upcoming elections, state-run newspaper Al-Ahram reported Wednesday.

The paper quoted a source from the Socialist Populist Alliance Party as saying that several similar parties — including the Egyptian Socialist, Egyptian, Communist and Social Democratic Egyptian parties — attended as well as independent figures, revolutionary groups and youth.

They met in downtown Cairo at the Hisham Mubarak Law Center. Candidates named at the meeting included former Muslim Brotherhood member Abdel Moneim Abouel Fotouh, MP Abul Ezz al-Hariry and activist Khaled Ali, head of the Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights, the source said.

The groups didn’t agree on a candidate at the meeting, Al-Ahram quoted the source as saying, but they discussed who can best express and achieve the revolution’s objectives and demands.

The source said it was a preliminary meeting that will be followed by others until a consensus is reached, adding that leftist parties didn’t express intent to field a candidate.

The Socialist Popular Alliance Party had earlier fielded Hariry for the presidency, Al-Ahram reported.

The newspaper said presidential hopeful Hamdeen Sabbahi met Tuesday with leaders from the party to discuss the necessity of reaching a consensus on a candidate.

Sabbahi called on leftists to not be divided among several candidates with similar platforms.

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