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Egypt: Campaign calls for election boycott if Sisi doesn't run - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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File photo—Protesters, who are against Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi, hold a poster featuring the head of Egypt's armed forces General Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi in Tahrir Square in Cairo, July 3, 2013 file photo. (REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany)

In this July 3, 2013, file photo, protesters opposed to Egyptian president Mohamed Mursi hold a poster featuring the head of Egypt’s armed forces, Gen. Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, in Tahrir Square in Cairo. (REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany)

Cairo, Asharq Al-Awsat—More than 15 million Egyptians have signed a petition calling on Gen. Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi to stand for president, the director of the Kamel Gmeilak (“Complete the Favor”) campaign told Asharq Al-Awsat.

Rifai Nasrallah, who heads the campaign that takes its name from a popular Egyptian proverb, said: “In the event that Sisi refuses to stand, we will call on the Egyptian people to boycott the presidential elections.”

He added that the petition aims to gather a total of 50 million signatures in order to convince Egypt’s popular defense minister to stand for election.

Kamel Gmeilak is a popular campaign that is not affiliated with any political party or faction,” he said, adding, “It is a call to the Egyptian people to continue their journey after two consecutive revolutions . . . and convince General Sisi to stand for the presidency,” Nasrallah said.

“General Sisi is a patriotic and democratic man and he will not stand against any popular campaign. He has not commented positively or negatively about our campaign but we will continue until we reach our objective of convincing him to stand for the presidency,” Nasrallah said.

As for what he would do if Sisi refuses to stand, he said: “If he continues to refuse after the campaign has reached its goal [of gathering 50 million signatures], we will take this petition to the general’s home, and then to the constitutional court. We will also call on the Egyptian people to boycott the presidential elections, and there are other plans.”

“We have gathered 15.4 million signatures,” he added.

Nasrallah also informed Asharq Al-Awsat that the Kamel Gmeilak campaign has been attacked by Muslim Brotherhood supporters, but he pledged to stand firm against any threats.

Kamel Gmeilak is not the only popular campaign seeking to propel Sisi to the presidency. The Ekhtarnak (“We Chose You”) campaign is also seeking to gather signatures to convince Egypt’s defense minister to stand for the presidency.

Egypt foreign minister Nabil Fahmy announced earlier this week that parliamentary elections are set to take place between February and March 2014, with a presidential election to follow by early summer.