Ayman Nour is the leading opposition politician of the government of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. A lawyer, Nour is an emblematic figure in Egypt. His wife Gamela Ismail is also involved in the protests.
At the head of the liberal El-Ghad party (‘Tomorrow’), which he founded in 2004, he was Hosni Mubarak’s main opponent in the 2005 presidential elections. He only won eight percent of the vote but gained second place after the huge majority claimed by Mubarak. Nour contested the results, but above all castigated the regime for being unable to tackle unemployment.
Amongst the crowds demonstrating in Cairo this week, Nour told the authorities: “Our message today consists of one word, “leave”. We are telling President Moubarak to leave. We do not want you. We cannot stand you or your regime. The Egyptian people no longer want this system. You have closed all doors to peaceful change.”
For this opposition leader the regime is finished. Before the communication black-out with Egypt, Ayman Nour told euronews how he saw the end of this crisis: “With all the political parties from all sides we will form popular assemblies as an alternative to parliament to fight against the fraud of the last parliamentary, senatorial and presidential elections.”
In 2005 Nour was sentenced to five years in prison on charges of forging documents used in applying for legal status for his El-Ghad party. He was released on medical grounds – diabetes – in February 2009, but remains ineligible for elections which it had been forecast would take place in September this year.