Egyptian presidential hopeful Moussa Mostafa Moussa says he's running to win

Ahram Online , Monday 29 Jan 2018

Presidential candidate Mousa Mostafa Mousa
Presidential candidate Mousa Mostafa Mousa, chairperson of the Ghad party, speaks during a news conference in Cairo, Egypt January 29, 2018. (Reuters)

Presidential hopeful and Ghad Party chairman Moussa Mostafa Moussa has said he is not running in the upcoming March elections “as a favour for anyone,” nor is he seeking fame, but that his campaign has a specific electoral platform and is aiming to win the race.

Speaking at a televised press conference in Cairo, Moussa, who is the only candidate apart from current President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi to submit the necessary paperwork to qualify to run prior to the deadline, said that he had decided to run after a series of withdrawals by other potential candidates.

"When former prime minister and ex-presidential candidate Ahmed Shafiq announced his intention to run, we didn't want to be involved in the race in order to not fragment votes," he said

This, however, changed as a series of other withdrawals and candidacies were cut short. He cited former military chief of staff Sami Anan, rights lawyer Khaled Ali, and vocal MP and Zamalek club chairman Mortada Mansour.

"This [lack of alternative candidates] was going to be unfair to Egyptians," he said.

Moussa was also asked by journalists about his party's initiative “Supporters”, which was established to support Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi's candidacy for a second term. 

"It was formed by the party to announce support for the president when Shafiq was running. It had a specific role at that time and it ended," he said.

"I couldn't have considered running without having a fixed plan. We see that Egypt needs us," he said.

Explaining how he obtained the required endorsements -- putative candiates must secure 25,000 endorsements from individual voters spread over 15 governorates, or endorsements from 20 MPs -- Moussa said that his party “has 26 headquarters in different governorates, and that is how we were able to get the more than 40,000 endorsements; and we also succeeded in achieving endorsements of 26 MPs.”

He declined to specify the names of the MPs who had endorsed him.

Moussa said that he has development plans, adding that his plans would continue to build on what has been already accomplished by President El-Sisi.

On terrorism, he called on Egyptians to be “aware” of danger.

On the banned Muslim Brotherhood, he said there would be "no concessions, no retreating and no reconciliation." 

On the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, which Egyptian officials fear could hurt the country’s Nile water supply, Moussa said that he doesn't stand against the dam in terms of the African country's development, but Egypt would still be ready “to react” to protect its water security.

Monday's press conference came a few hours after Moussa submitted his candidacy documents to the National Elections Authority, an hour before the deadline.

He had told Al-Ahram Arabic news website earlier that he had fulfilled the requirements to register as a candidate in the March elections, including gathering 47,000 citizens' endorsements as well as 26 endorsements from members of parliament.

Moussa and President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi are the only hopeful candidates to submit all required papers and endorsements to the NEA.

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