Khaled Youssef: Sabbahi will be Egypt’s next president

Renowned cinema director Khaled Youssef has claimed former presidential frontrunner Hamdeen Sabbahi will be Egypt’s next president.

Youssef added that Sabbahi, who came third in the 2012 presidential race after Mohamed Morsy and Ahmed Shafik, could have saved Egypt from its current political impasse.

Speaking to satellite channel CBC late Monday, Youssef said that the National Salvation Front (NSF), the main opposition coalition of which he and Sabbahi are both members, will agree on one candidate for planned presidential elections.

Earlier this month, NSF leader Emad Gad said members had already agreed that Sabbahi would represent the coalition at elections expected by the end of the year, according to interim President Adly Mansour's constitutional declaration issued this month.

The NSF later denied it had agreed on a candidate.

Interviewed by CBC, Youssef stressed the importance of national reconciliation with Morsy supporters, arguing that a large portion of the Muslim Brotherhood shuns violence.

He denied communications between the NSF and army officials prior to the 30 June demonstrations which prompted Morsy’s ouster. He labelled Defense Minister Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who toppled Morsy from his post, a “symbol of patriotism," while describing the deposed leader as “ a controversial, dramatic persona."

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm