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Egyptian celebs join call for Sisi to run for second term

CAIRO: A new petition calling for Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi to run for a second term in next year’s election has attracted the support of a number of Egyptian celebrities. El-Sisi’s current term ends in June 2018.

Movie stars, footballers, and prominent media personalities have added their voices to the “Alashan Tebneeha” (So You Can Build It) campaign recently launched by a group of parliamentarians.

From movie star Hani Salama and controversial actress Ghada Abdel Razek, to veteran actors including Hussein Fahmy and Hassan Yousef, social media has been filled with pictures of celebs posing with the form they’ve signed.

But the organizers of the campaign stress that it is attracting Egyptians from all walks of life, and they reportedly have plans to tour Egyptian governorates to encourage more citizens to participate.

Art critic Nader Adly told Arab News that the celebrity endorsements “could boost public support for the initiative supporting El-Sisi’s re-election.”

“Artists in Egypt have been always affiliated with those in power, since the days of King Farouk,” Adly said. “The majority of our artists are supportive of our rulers and have no opposing views to our leadership. They would voice opposition in their artwork but not in (public statements).”

The 62-year-old El-Sisi is widely expected to run for a second term, although he has — on several occasions — declined to comment on his plans. He has, however, previously urged Egyptians in televised comments to come out and vote in large numbers in next year's election.

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