Managing editor of state-run Al-Ahram Abdel Mohsen Salama said on Tuesday that he refuses the division among the ongoing elections campaign, saying he sees the syndicate that embraces division while keeping away from politics.
He added during a lecture in the Daily News Egypt newsroom that his participation in the elections is not motivated by personal reasons. He also elaborated on the need to subsidise the means to produce journalism to withstand the ongoing price hikes.
Salama refused to categorise the candidates into two types: those who care for freedom and those who care about services. He added that the chosen head of the syndicate and board should automatically serve both causes.
The candidate said he refuses to be labeled as the “candidate of the state”, adding that it is fine to have relations with state organisations, as the state apparatus is the entity that is able to solve the problems journalists face.
Salama criticised the performance of the current board in dealing with the aftermath of the storming of the syndicate, explaining that a better method would have been to embrace different opinions. He added that there were suggestions for him, alongside different veteran journalists, to intervene and assist the board, but it was refused.
Last May, police forces raided the syndicate and arrested two journalists, a historical and unprecedented incident that led to tensions between journalists and the state. This situation ended up with syndicate leaders being tried over charges of harboring suspects.
With nearly 10,000 members eligible to vote, the assembly is only considered legitimate with an attendance of over 50%: a target that had been difficult to achieve in past elections. Due to the shortage on 3 March, a second assembly will be called on 17 March, with a required attendance of 25% of members.