Former notable figures of the dissolved and once ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) have been holding meetings to rally the former party’s supporters behind presidential candidate Ahmed Shafiq.
Mahmoud Haddad, one of the attendees, revealed on Friday that former NDP trustees from various governorates meet in a building in Dokki that belongs to the first wife of Ahmed Ezz, the steel tycoon and former NDP secretary, to discuss ways to back Shafiq.
Shafiq, a general and former civil aviation minister, was appointed prime minister by Hosni Mubarak during the 18-day uprising last year against the latter's three-decade rule. This last-ditch attempt to appease protesters did not save Mubarak, but Shafiq hung on to his position for about three weeks after the president fell.
Haddad said in a telephone call with "Egypt in a Week" program on the privately-owned OnTV channel that NDP leaders had called to invite him and others for the meetings.
"Among those who gather the members of the dissolved National Democratic Party [to support Shafiq] are the wife of Ahmed Ezz, named Azza, Mohamed Kamal, and son of Kamal al-Shazly," he said.
Abul Ela Mady, president of the Wasat Party, said during the same TV program that he had received information confirming Haddad's report. Mady said revolutionary forces must unite to save the revolution.
It’s not clear how the support of former members of the NDP would enhance Shafiq's chances.
In the most recent poll by Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies, Shafiq came third after former foreign minister and Arab League chief Amr Moussa and former Muslim Brotherhood member Abdel Moneim Abouel Fotouh.
The NDP was dissolved by a court ruling in April 2011, as demanded by the pro-democracy uprising. The party had dominated Egyptian politics since it was founded by Anwar Sadat in 1978, and came to examplify the ruling elite's corruption and abuse of power.