Former Spy Chief Mourad Mowafy denied news of a meeting with media entrepreneurs who were persuading him to run for president in the upcoming elections, the privately-owned Al-Masry Al-Youm reported.
"This meeting did not happen," Mowafy told Al-Masry Al-Youm, denouncing the report publishedby the British Independent.
Mowafy did not reject the idea of his candidacy but rather said it was too early to consider the presidency, especially as Egyptians are now more concerned with a way out of the current political stalemate.
Egyptian media entrepreneur Mohamed al-Amin also denied meeting with Mowafy to ask him to run for president, the state-run Al-Ahram portal reported .
Amin, who owns the CBC satellite channels, said that news of the meeting published by the Independentare false.
In its report, the Independent said that the meeting happened between Amin and Mowafy over dinner at the house of Hassan Rateb, a media entrepreneur who owns Al-Mehwar satellite channel. Other businessmen reportedly present at the dinner included Ahmad Bahgat, who owns Dream TV.
The men gathered around Mowafy to convince him to run for president, a source present at the dinner told the Independent.
Privately-owned channels such as the CBC, Dream, and Al-Mehwar have recently editorially aligned with the military against the Muslim Brotherhood in the wake of the ouster of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi on.
Observers say that these channels and their owners are interested in a strong military presence in politics to thwart the Islamists who have repeatedly antagonized them during and since Morsi's rule.