Wafd endorses Mansour Hassan’s presidential bid

The Wafd Party’s supreme board supports Mansour Hassan, the head of the Advisory Council to the ruling military junta, in his newly announced bid for president, the party’s deputy head said Wednesday.

Mohamed Kamel said his party chose Hassan in an internal vote between Hassan, former Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa, and former Muslim Brotherhood leader Abdel Moneim Abouel Fotouh.

Kamel declined to say what percentage of votes each candidate received.

Board members aired various opinions at the three-hour meeting, especially since the party’s executive bureau — an internal body subsidiary to the supreme board — had decided Tuesday to endorse Moussa.

On Thursday, Hassan told the London-based Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that he is supported by several undisclosed political forces "inside and outside the Parliament."

Hassan, who has occupied several top posts since the reign of former President Anwar Sadat, did not say if he would validate his candidacy by gathering either 30,000 signatures or support from 30 members of Parliament, both of which are acceptable according to the March 2011 Constitutional Declaration.

Hassan enjoys support from a number of political parties. Sources from the Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party, which controls more than 40 percent of the newly elected Parliament, said in January the party plans to support Hassan for president, though a senior party official later denied the report. The Brotherhood has said it will not endorse a candidate until after the nomination process closes.

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