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Abou El-Fotouh says Islamist forces yet to be tested

Presidential hopeful Abdel Monem Abou-El-Fotouh held his first press conference after ‎announcing that he will run for presidency

Ahmed Eleiba, Saturday 25 Jun 2011
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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. 

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