Tempted to boycott the first presidential elections after Mubarak, held on May 23 and 24, after the exit of Nobel Peace Prize winner and founder of the movement for change Mohamed el Baradei, Egyptian artists are now focusing on the Nasserist candidate, Hamdeen Sabbahi, al Ahram online writes. The newspaper has carried out a poll to understand the intentions of actors, directors and artists, who are concerned about the impact of the victory of a pro-Islamic candidate on culture and freedom of expression. These concerns have become stronger after a torrent of trials for insulting religion against Egyptian film star Adel Imam.
''Holding presidential elections under a military regime and without a Constitution is a farce,'' wrote the famous actor, who has played roles in Hollywood films like Ridley Scott's Kingdom of Heaven, on the social networks. The actor has advised a fan to vote for Sabbahi, al Ahram writes. Founder of the Arab Nasserist party, Al-Karama, jailed several times during his political career, Hamdeen Sabbahi has already won the support of Alaa el Aswany, writer of the novel 'palazzo Yacoubian', and of director Khaled Youssef.
Actor Khaled el Sawy has said that Sabbahi is ''the only one who is able at the moment to recover Egypt's status with a concrete plan and vision.'' Another actor, Nabil el Halafawy, explained that he made the choice for Sabbahi after seeing the television debate, the first in Egypt's history, between the former leader of the Arab League and former foreign minister under Hosni Mubarak, Amr Mussa, and the pro-Islamic moderate former Muslim Brotherhood member Abdel Monein Abul Fotouh. ''Our country urgently needs a civil leader with a broad view and Sabbahi is perfect, he told al Ahram. ''At a different time I may have chosen Abul Foutuh but now I give my support to a civilian state without any Islamic ideology,'' he explained. Several Egyptian artists also support Khaled Ali, lawyer and human rights activist, the youngest of the 13 candidates with his 40 years, the minimum age to run for president in Egyptian law. But this Benjamin of the Egyptian revolution is considered to have waged the worst electoral campaign.