The 40 year old is the youngest candidate.
Many pro-revolution voters would like to vote for him but will not because they know he is mainly unknown to rural Egypt and therefore his chances are very slim.
In 1999, along with Ahmed Seif El-Islam, he founded the Hisham Mubarak Law Centre (HMLC), a law firm that has since become a major player in the country’s human rights scene.
In 2001, Ali helped launch the Coordinating Committee, a grassroots labor organization that advocates workers’ rights and has worked on eliminating violations in state-run trade union elections in 2001 and 2006.
Ali was also a founding member of the Front for Defending Egypt’s Protesters in 2008, providing legal support for Egypt’s labor movement in the industrial city of Mahalla after the April 6 strike.
In 2009, Ali founded the Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights (ECESR) and served as the director of this prominent human and labor rights advocacy group until February 2012, when he announced his intention to run for presidency. In 2010, he won a highly publicized case directing a 1,200 Egyptian pound minimum monthly wage for Egypt’s public sector employees.
He has made the eradication of poverty his main goal. He told Reuters that he wants to revive the public sector, which he believes has untapped potential. He also says he wants a competitive playing field for the private sector, departing from Mubarak-era crony capitalism. He eschews traditional left or right political labels.
He blames an unproductive economy that is too heavily reliant on tourism and remittances from Egyptians living abroad for not shielding the poor during a year of unrest.
Ali is also pro western and has suggested that he will seek to strengthen ties with Europe and the United States and work with Israel to resolve the Middle East peace process.
Here is an interview, translated into English. He says “the worst thing is the smear campaign that made the people believe that the revolutionaries are against the society.”
In March, he filed a lawsuit against the parliament, challenging the constitutionality of the mainly Islamist assembly tasked with drafting the new constitution. He participated in protests in front of this assembly’s meeting place.
Egypt Today says he is married to Naglaa Hashem, a fellow human rights activist who works for the Cairo-based Nadeem Center for the Rehabilitation of Torture Victims.