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Team to draw up programme for a candidate in Egypt 2018 election: Former presidential aide Heggy

The aim of the initiative is to draw up a programme to be adopted by potential candidates and implemented as state policies once they get into office

Ahram Online , Tuesday 2 Aug 2016
Essam Heggy
File Photo: Former Presidential aide Essam Heggy (Photo: Al-Ahram)
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Former presidential scientific advisor Essam Heggy announced on Tuesday that a number of figures from across the political spectrum will form a committee to prepare a presidential programme to be adopted by any potential candidate in the 2018 presidential elections.

The aim of the initiative is to draw up a programme under the slogan "fight poverty, ignorance and disease," to be adopted by potential candidates and implemented as state policies once they get into office, Heggy said in a statement on his Facebook page.

The team is open for anyone to join, according to Heggy.

The programme will promote a "civil state with a strong economy," and its main goals will include developing educational institutions, fighting poverty and unemployment, empowering women, achieving religious equality and developing health institutions, the statement said.

The team also aims to coordinate with "all civil society groups" in Egypt willing to work towards these stated goals.

The proposed programme, the first major initiative addressing the 2018 presidential elections, has stirred social media debate among members of the opposition.

Some have welcomed the initiative as the first to propose a viable alternative and others have slammed Heggy for having been part of interim president Adly Mansour's presidential team.  

Heggy's presidential initiative was first introduced last month when he announced that a "new vision adopted by the 25 January youth" should be presented in the 2018 elections.

Heggy was the scientific advisor for interim president Mansour, who held power following the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013. Heggy has a PhD in astronomy and astrophysics from the University of Paris, and is currently a professor of geosciences at Western Michigan University. 

Heggy has become an outspoken critic of Egypt's current government and state institutions, and has come under heavy fire from pro-regime media outlets.

President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi was elected president in May 2014 and can run one more term according to the Egyptian constitution.  

Heggy cannot run for president because he holds dual citizenship.

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