Cairo, Asharq Al-Awsat—Former interim Egyptian president Adly Mansour has rejected a number of offers to stand in the country’s forthcoming parliamentary elections, as part of a broader plan that would see him assume the role of speaker of parliament, Egyptian political sources told Asharq Al-Awsat on Wednesday.
Mansour, who currently heads Egypt’s highest court, has been touted as a consensus figure with enough gravitas to head the next parliament. However, Egyptian political sources say that Mansour is unwilling to step down as head of the Supreme Constitutional Court to re-enter the political fray following his successful stint as interim president.
This comes after a popular campaign was formed calling for Mansour to stand. A joint statement issued by the Will of the Egyptian People Front and the Egyptian Youth Abroad Movement called on Mansour to take up the post of parliamentary speaker in his capacity as a “trusted patriotic figure.”
Egyptian parliamentary elections are scheduled to take place before the end of the year, according to the political roadmap put in place following the ouster of Muslim Brotherhood-backed president Mohamed Mursi.
Egyptian political activists and analysts had earlier called on Mansour, who enjoys broad popularity across the Egyptian political spectrum, to stand for parliament as a prospective consensus figure for the speakership in order to avoid what could be an ugly and divisive political battle over the post.
Coordinator of the Will of the Egyptian People Front, Abdelaziz Samir, told Asharq Al-Awsat the group has information that Mansour is considering standing at the forthcoming elections but has yet to officially take a position.
However a judicial source close to the former president, speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat on the condition of anonymity, said it was unlikely Mansour would stand.
“The sensitive position that Adly Mansour holds as head of the Supreme Constitutional Court makes it difficult to talk about this at the present time,” he said.
Qadri Abu Hussein, head of the Misr Baladi (Egypt is My Homeland) party, told Asharq Al-Awsat he did not expect Mansour to agree to stand for parliamentary elections after pledging to return to the judiciary and avoid political entanglements.
In an interview with Kuwait’s Al-Seyassah newspaper last year, Mansour said he had no intention of continuing in politics following his stint as president. “I will return to my office and work at the Constitutional Court. I became interim president of Egypt based on the provisions of the law and the constitution, and I respect the provisions of the law and the constitution,” he said.