Egyptian Interim President Adly Mansour met Saturday with a British delegation that included members of the UK parliament.
According to presidential spokesman Ihab Badawi, Mansour reviewed during the meeting steps that are being taken to complete the transitional roadmap, which already saw the ratification of a new constitution by an overwhelming majority and will see next presidential elections to be followed by parliamentary polls.
Mansour vehemently denied claims made by foreign media regarding a “return of military rule to Egypt.”
“The president express his surprise at what he hears and reads regarding that matter … explaining that the country now is being run by a civil government headed by an international economic figure,” said Badawi.
Speculation over the return of military rule in Egypt rose after the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces empowered Minister of Defence Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi to run for the presidency.
Presidential polls should take place between 17 February and 18 April. However, Field Marshal El-Sisi has not yet officially announced whether he will run or not.
Mansour underlined that if El-Sisi chose to run, it would be after he quit his military post.
He added that, “History celebrated figures that have moved from their military path to practice politics, including former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill.”
Egypt has been ruled by military leaders since the 1952 Revolution that overthrew the monarchy and until the 2011 uprising. Deposed president Mohamed Morsi was the country’s first freely elected civilian president.
Mansour also said that the new constitution has empowered the president with tools that will ensure that the coming House of Representatives (Egypt's parliament) will be representative of all factions in society — in particular women, peasants, workers and those with special needs.
He further expressed his optimism regarding the future, stressing that in spite of economic hardships during the past three years, Egypt survived, hoping that the return of security will have a positive and direct impact on the country.
The meeting was attended by several members of both the UK House of Commons and House of Lords, in addition other public figures including Ian Tailor, chairman of the National Space Academy, and Mervyn Thomas, CEO of Christian Solidarity Worldwide.
Several Egyptian figures were also present, including Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy and businessman Sameer Takla.