Report: Sisi’s campaigners reject debate with Sabahi

Sources reportedly close to Sisi’s election campaigners say a debate could lead the frontrunner to lose votes

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Egyptian presidential candidate Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi’s campaigners reject plans for the frontrunner to debate against his only competitor, the leftist Hamdeen Sabahi, Al-Masry Al-Youm website reported sources as saying Wednesday.

The sources said a debate with Sabahi means that they will lose 3-5 million votes.

They cited a previous debate between two presidential candidates in the last elections: former head of the Arab League Amro Mousa and the independent Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh.

They said the debate made the two candidates lose votes.

While Sisi has yet to present his campaign platform for the elections scheduled to be held on 26-27 May, Sabahi presented his electoral program in a press conference on Wednesday.

He said he would run under the slogan of “social justice, democracy and national independence,” Ahram Online reported him as saying.

He added: “There are those who would say that the electoral program is too ambitious or too hopeful, but we see it as a right for a nation which has made sacrifices and has not yet reaped their benefits.”

“We ask Egyptians to stand by their legitimate dreams from which they have been deprived by authoritarian rulers.”

Sabahi participated in the 2012 elections in which he came third.

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