|This article is outdated. (August 2012)|
|Born||Hamdeen Abdel-Atty Abdel-Maksoud Sabahi
5 July 1954
Baltim, Kafr el-Sheikh Governorate, Egypt
|Political party||National Salvation Front|
|Alma mater||Cairo University|
Hamdeen Sabahi (Arabic: حمدين صباحى, IPA: [ħæmˈdeːn sˤɑbˈbɑːħi]) (born 5 July 1954) an Egyptian politician, the leader of the Egyptian Popular Current and a co-leader of the National Salvation Front. An opposition leader during the Anwar Sadat and Hosni Mubarak eras, Sabahi was jailed 17 times during their presidencies for political dissidence. He was an immediate supporter and participant of the 2011 Egyptian revolution. Sabahi entered the 2012 Egyptian presidential race in which he finished third place with 21.5% of the vote trailing the second place winner Ahmed Shafiq by a margin of 700,000 votes. Alongside Mohamed ElBaradei and Amr Moussa, Sabahi leads Egypt's liberal opposition against the Islamist government of President Mohamed Morsi.
A well known opposition figure, Sabahi ascribes to Nasserism and in 1996 he founded the Nasserist Karama (Dignity) Party. Sabahi ran as an independent and not as the Dignity Party's candidate. One of the few secular figures without any ties to the regime of Hosni Mubarak, Sabahi has attracted the support of several leading Nasserists. Sabahi is running under the slogan "one of us" which highlights his strong ties with the working class and advocates his socialist aspirations. Sabahi also gained the support of prominent Egyptian figures including writer and political activist Alaa Al Aswany and director and film-writer Khaled Youssef.
In 1975, Sabahi was accepted to Cairo University where he studied Mass communication and, with a group of friends, founded the Nasserist club. Hamdeen enjoyed a wide popularity among his colleagues who elected him president of the university's Student Union. In 1977, when President Anwar Sadat met with Student Union representatives from around Egypt, Sabahi openly expressed his disapproval of Sadat's policies and regime. He criticized Sadat's Infitah (Open-Door Policy), which he said only favored the capitalists and those who were already well off. He also criticized Sadat's plans to make peace with Israel, while Palestinians remained without a home and devoid of representation. "If the terms we have to accept in order for this land to be returned include recognizing the Zionist entity," Sabahi argued, "this would be a mistake". Because of this confrontation, Sabahi was banned from working as a journalist or on TV. And in September 1981, Sabahi was the youngest member of the Nationalist Opposition movement to be detained.
In 1985, he obtained his master's in journalism. Shortly thereafter, Hamdeen Sabahi and some colleagues founded Saʿid (The Rising), "a center for Arabic journalism", where many young, Arab journalists were trained in the field.
Political History 
In 1992, Hamdeen Sabahi helped establish the Democratic Nasserist Party. In 1993, he was among the members of the Egyptian Nationalist movement to visit Palestinian resistance leaders in Lebanon. In the same year, Sabahi survived an assassination attempt and was later detained for speaking against Arabs' inaction to the siege on the Iraqis. In his first attempt at running for parliamentary elections in 1995, the old regime sent out thugs to attack his supporters. The violent attack reportedly caused the death of 2 and injured 37 supporters.
In the late 1990s, the Mubarak regime passed a law that stripped farmers of their right to own the land that they paid for and maintained, effectively bringing an end to the reforms of the Nasser era and undermining the tenancy rights of farmers. Sabahi was arrested for the third time and tortured in 1997 for staunchly opposing the enactment of this law. He was charged "with inciting agricultural workers to stage an open-ended sit-in on their land in protest" against that law.
Sabahi then began to establish al-Karama (Dignity) political party in 1998 which failed to gain legality. Starting 1999, Sabahi became an active member of the Journalists Syndicate and was appointed as head of its Media committee. In 2000, Sabahi was elected as an independent member of parliament.
In 2003, Sabahi was arrested for the fourth time for opposing Egypt's support for the US's decision to invade Iraq – even though, members of the parliament are supposed to have immunity. A year later, he helped establish the grassroots coalition "Egyptian Movement for Change" -or Kefaya (Enough!)- which opposed the prolonging of Mubarak's rule and the idea of grooming Mubarak's son, Gamal, for the presidency.
Sabahi became the editor-in-chief of the newly created Al-Karama newspaper, the official paper of al-Karama political party, until mid 2010. In 2006, Sabahi supported the Lebanese resistance to Israel, and in 2008, he went to Gaza in an attempt to help break the siege on the Gaza Strip. While he was there, Sabahi met with figures of the Palestinian Authority to discuss the conditions in the Strip. In 2009, Sabahi left his position in al-Karama party to focus on his plan to run for the upcoming presidential election. Initially, in 2010, he was able to garner the support of thousands for his campaign-to-be. That same year, he joined "Al-Gamʿiyya al-Wataniyya lil-Taghyir" or the National Association for Change of which Muhammad Al-Baradei and Ayman Nur were also members.
Involvement in the Revolution 
On 25 January 2011, Hamdeen Sabahi joined the protests that took place in his hometown, Baltim, and also took part in the "Friday of Anger" protest on 28 January, where he spent the entire day in Mohandisin (Cairo) among the masses.
After the fall of the Mubarak regime, Hamdeen Sabahi officially announced his intention to run for president. He promised that he will do his best to help Egypt become a democracy, where the law is truly above all and where citizens' rights are sacrosanct. In a press conference in March 2011, Hamdeen Sabahi promised that he would make the separation of powers more distinct, provide social equity and justice, and rid the Egyptian economy of monopoly and corruption. He promised economic reforms such as setting priorities for the national budget and setting a minimum wage for laborers.
In another press conference in October 2011, Sabahi said that his presidential campaign will focus on three aspects: "building a democratic system..., granting general freedoms, clarifying the separation of powers, limiting presidential power, guaranteeing the freedoms of political parties, syndicates and the media," while preserving citizens' rights to protest and go on strike. Regarding the economy and social justice, he said that he hopes to establish a state-capitalist Egypt in which the public and private sectors cooperate with one another. According to Sabahi, the Egyptian should be entitled to eight things: "housing, healthcare, food, free education, work, insurance and a fair wage, and a clean environment." He told his audience, "If I become president and do not fulfill these promises, I ask you to hold me accountable".
Another big concern for Sabahi is bringing Egypt's status as a regional power back. Sabahi reaffirmed his support for Article two of the 1971 Constitution which states that Shariʿa (Islamic) law is the main source of legislation and reasserted his belief that Egypt is an Arabic and Islamic country that "Muslims and Christians build together."
Hamdeen Sabahi affirms that "the peasants are the most important class in Egypt."
Presidential Campaign 
On 25 January 2012, the first anniversary of the revolution, Sabahi suggested that Egyptians in Egypt and abroad who possess 50 million Egyptian pounds (about $8.3 million) or more pay a 10% tax, which he called "Tahrir", once in their lifetime. He argued that this would be the first step to achieving social equity and justice as well as giving equal opportunity to all Egyptians.
Sabahi said that he would not run for president if the constitution to be drafted calls for a parliamentary system of government, for that system, he argued, would "create a new dictator." This is one of the reasons Sabahi wants the constitution to be written before presidential elections are held. "We need a parliament," he explained, "that is independent of the president and would hold him accountable." He argued that the danger of having a parliamentary system is that the prime minister, who would be chosen by a majority vote of the MPs, would be head of government. And because the MPs chose him, they would inevitably back and protect him.
Regarding the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, Sabahi said that the council's performance in the beginning was very good, because they favored and sided with the those in Tahrir Square. But relations eventually grew sour because of the council mismanaged the transitional phase. "They could have easily maintained the love and respect" people had for the military, he argued. "They could have easily established the stability they always spoke of. And much earlier on."
Prior to the elections, Sabahi trailed in the polls and was deemed the dark-horse candidate. However, he garnered over 21% of the vote putting him in third place. Mubarak-era minister Ahmed Shafiq beat Sabahi by a margin of around 700,000 votes earning him second place in the race and qualifying his entrance into the runoff with first-place winner Mohammad Morsi of the Freedom and Justice Party. Nonetheless his popularity was a surprise to many analysts who did not expect Sabahi to win many votes because he lacked a party machine and organization outside the major cities. Most of his votes came from Alexandria and Port Said where he came in first and parts of Cairo, Dakhalia, Damietta, Suez and the Gharbiya Governorate. Since the announcement of the election results, Sabahi has lodged a formal complaint, alleging irregularities in the voting and questioning the legality of the candidature of Ahmed Shafiq.
Political views 
On changing the Egyptian Government 
- "Every revolution must launch a nationwide revival, this is what political power must be used for, and this is exactly why I am running for president."(Al-Ahram, April 2012)
- "I opt for presidential system that limits the power of the president and makes him accountable to the public, the parliament and the judiciary." (Al-Ahram, April 2012)
- "What matters is not the number of seats any party wins, but that the elections are run in a free and fair manner ... The Egyptian people have made it clear that no one will have access to power except through fair and free elections."(Al-Ahram, April 2012)
- "The political aspect ... focuses on building a democratic political system based on a new constitution that guarantees rights such as freedom of belief, expression, to peacefully demonstrate, to establish a political party, and freedom of the press."(Majallah Magazine, May 2011)
- "We need change in policies, not faces. We need more democracy and social justice."(Al-Masry Al-Youm, January 2010)
Political culture in Egypt 
- "Egypt must remain at the core of the Arab nation. This is its identity and destiny ... the revival of Egypt is not a matter of ideology alone. We have to have a vision for revival. And my vision leans heavily on the experience of Abdel-Nasser."(Al-Ahram, April 2012)
- "I have opposed both Sadat and Mubarak and criticised their policies. Under Sadat and Mubarak, Egypt abandoned its leading role in the Arab world to become a party to the US-Zionist vision for the region. We went from being a country that sides with the poor and stands for social justice to one that believes in open-door policies."(Al-Ahram, April 2012)
- "The people are in need for a candidate who will provide them with decent living conditions, must respect religion, but not necessarily of religious origin."(Aswat Masriya, February 2012)
Foreign relations 
- "Our foreign policy should spell out dignity for Egypt and should be stable in its course. Stronger ties are needed with three main circles: the Arab circle in which Egypt is a key player; the African circle of the Nile Valley; and the Islamic circle involving the Arabs, the Turks, and the Iranians."(Al-Ahram, April 2012)
- "I stand for the best level of cooperation with Iran and Turkey which will allow all three parties to rebuilt their economic and security stances and shall prevent any single party [Israel or the USA] from interfering with the internal issues of other parties."(Hiwar Magazine, February 2012)
- "We share the same sea [with the EU]. The Mediterranean is a lake shared by Europeans and Arabs, thus we need to see the best relationships between both parties."(Hiwar Magazine, February 2012)
- "I appreciate the American people and we are very keen to hold serious talks with them based on equality, not subordination ... Our approach towards western governments and administrations will differ according to our interests under an Egyptian foreign policy that will revive Egypt and raise its international status."(Majallah Magazine, May 2011)
Mohammad Morsi 
- Hill, Evan.Egypt's surprise candidate: Hamdeen Sabahi. Al Jazeera. 27 May 2012.
- "Egypt candidate to seek election suspension". Al Jazeera. 27 May 2012. Retrieved 28 May 2012.
- Khalil, Ashraf (18 April 2012). "The Brothers Grim". Foreign Policy.
- Aswat Masriya. 1 April 2012 http://en.aswatmasriya.com/news/view.aspx?id=76f15349-8073-41ac-931b-d7cac799563e
|url=missing title (help).
- "Nasserist leaders unite around presidential hopeful Hamdeen Sabbahi". Al Ahram. 31 Mar 2012.
- "Egypt candidate to seek election suspension". Al Jazeera. 26 May 2012. Retrieved 12 March 2013.
- Sabry, Mohannad (11 March 2013). "Egyptian Leftist Bloc Leader Calls Morsi 'New Mubarak'". Al Monitor. Retrieved 12 March 2013.