Presidential hopeful Abdel Monem Abou El-Fotouh held his first press conference after announcing that he will run for presidency. During the gathering he commented on several pressing issues, including the Muslim Brotherhood’s political involvement and that of all Islamic forces.
Abou El-Fotouh, a former Muslim Brotherhood Guidance Bureau member, was recently expelled from the controversial Islamist group for embarking on a presidential campaign when the group has committed to not fielding a candidate for the presidency and has forbidden its members from running independently. On their role on the political landscape, however, he said: “There is nothing to be afraid of the Muslim Brotherhood’s political role."
Abou El-Fotouh continued: “They have not been tested yet; they were tied up during the era of the former regime. I would prefer calling them conservatives rather than Islamists."
Speaking of the ongoing constitution saga, Abou El-Fotouh said: “I wanted the constitution to be formed before any elections, but that was in February before the referendum ... Now the situation is different.”
Abou El-Fotouh also warned of the possibility of the rigging of this year’s parliamentary elections through vote buying. “The misuse of money might ruin the elections, whether this money is from all the Gulf countries without exception, or Western ones, especially the US.”
Abou El-Fotouh also touched on the security issue, saying it is not as deteriorated as some say. He criticised the interim government, however. “Some of the ministers are from the old regime and they obstruct the government’s work, while others are working hard. All in all, the government’s performance is slow.”
He went on to assure that tourism is “an important national income source for Egypt that has to be revived”. He also voiced dissatisfaction over education and medical insurance.