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Saturday, 15 December 2018

Egypt's Aboul-Fotouh will not run for president, party to boycott

Egypt's Strong Egypt Party, founded by Abdel-Moneim Aboul-Fotouh, to boycott Egypt's upcoming presidential polls citing 'lack of democracy'

Zeinab El-Guindy, Sunday 9 Feb 2014

'Strong Egypt' party leader Aboul-Fotouh (C) in a press conference, Suday, 9 February 2014 (Photo: Zeinab El Gundy)
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Abdel-Moneim Abul-Fotouh will not run in the upcoming presidential elections, his Strong Egypt Party announced Sunday in a press conference, describing the polls as a "mockery" of elections.

"We will not take part in deceiving the people," said party leader Aboul-Fotouh, who had finished fourth in the 2012 presidential race.

The party boycotted Egypt's latest constitutional referendum on 14-15 January, after its members were arrested for spreading posters calling for a "No" vote.

On Saturday, leftist politician Hamdeen Sabbahi – who had finished third in the 2012 presidential elections – announced he would again run for president.

A roadmap was put into effect in Egypt after Islamist president Mohamed Morsi was ousted on 3 July following mass protests against his one-year rule.

In accordance with a recent decree by interim President Adly Mansour, presidential polls are to take place before 18 April.

Party decides on boycott

The Strong Egypt Party announced later on Sunday that it will not support any presidential candidate so far slated to run in the elections scheduled for Spring.

“We discussed the presidential elections in our party and we found that the practices of the current regime do not indicate any kind of democratic path or respect for freedoms and human beings,” Abul-Fotouh said in the press conference.

Nonetheless, the party will continue following closely political developments on the national scene. 

“When we have nearly 21,000 activists detained in prisons, who will participate and vote in theses elections? When the detainees are tortured and when 85 journalists are detained and channels are closed without judicial order, how to participate in the elections? 'The State of Fear' is back in Egypt,” Abul-Fotouh said.

“Each Egyptian is now afraid to express his opinion freely,” he added, yet assuring that “Egyptians won’t accept this state,” especially that “they stood against it on 30 June 2013.”

During the press conference, Strong Egypt Party spokesperson Ahmed Emam revealed that several hotels refused to host the press conference of the party, unlike in the past — a fact Abul-Fotouh alluded to in his speech.

“I know without doubt that the hotel manager that refused to host our press conference acted alone, without orders from the regime, but rather out of fear,” said the founder of Strong Egypt Party.

“We do not believe in boycotting in the Strong Egypt Party and we tried to engage in the elections process in the last poll on the constitution. We made a campaign against the constitution, but we were met by rejection. Our members were arrested while campaigning and we were not allowed to hold public meetings,” said Abul-Fotouh.

The party also issued an official statement on its position on the presidential elections, slamming the statement of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) green-lighting the presidential candidacy of Field Marshal Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi.

“The SCAF meeting to delegate one of its commanders to run in the presidential elections was another strong blow to democracy in Egypt, as it entails the military institution deviating from its mission to be involved in politics directly. Now any potential presidential candidate is standing against the armed forces and all the state's institutions,” said the statement, also accusing the media of being biased to one candidate while defaming other potential candidates.

The party insisted that building a true democracy in Egypt is the only way to create a political environment that allows for transparency and accountability as well a state of law.

Despite that the party made it clear it would not participate in the presidential elections, it announced that it was preparing for parliamentary elections and is in talks with all political powers in Egypt hoping to reach reconciliation.

Abdel-Moneim Abul-Fotouh, a former leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood, ran in the presidential elections in 2012 where he came fourth in the first round after leaders Ahmad Shafiq and Mohamed Morsi, and Hamdeen Sabbahi.

According to Ahmed Emam, the decision to boycott the upcoming presidential elections expected to be held in April was reached by the high committee of the party Friday.

The Strong Egypt Party press conference was interrupted by news correspondents who staged one minute stand in front of the TV cameras in solidarity with CBC correspondent Mohamed Abdel Aal who was assaulted by security forces Friday. Abdel Aal was assaulted on air by security forces while covering the blasts at Giza Bridge.

Strong Egypt Party officials, and founder Abul-Fotouh, declared solidarity with journalists who face difficulties in the current political environment in Egypt, while at the same time criticising the “bad media in Egypt."

“We respect and support the respectable media searching for truth in Egypt, not the media that spreads hate, incitement and polarisation, fighting a satire show,” Abul-Fotouh said in reference to attacks in the Egyptian media on Bassem Youssef’s show, Al-Bernmag (The Programme).

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7



Ruth
10-02-2014 05:20pm
38-
4+
Right Decision
This wise decision,it's quite evident the state institutions and machinery i.e Army,police,judiciary,interim govt,state & media belong or owned by old regime are openly supporting CC even before his official announcement.No other candidate will be allowed to run his/her compaign,no oneone will be allowed in polling boths to monitor the rigging so participation in the election only giving legtimacy to CC election, sorry presidentical election drama.
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6



Ayman Ibrahim Elhalafawy
10-02-2014 10:58am
5-
40+
hypocrisy
When Mr. Morsi gave himself legislative powers without the possibility of anyone able to dispute these abused powers, including the supreme court itself. When Mr Morsi was fighting the court system, with the rest of the public to replace them with MB members, under the guise of fighting corruption. When MB members plan and bankroll bomb attacks and assassinations to weaken the country so they can return the "legitimacy" of the election boxes which was overturned by the public. That was democratic. When the current interim government supported by all public institutions and the public itself put a road-map that they are well on the their way through including presidential and parliamentary elections, somehow that is not completely democratic. Let the western world and their easily manipulated puppets for political influence like Abou Al Fotouh which have never supported any country they meddle in to truly develop say or do what they want. Egypt is the master of its fate and not the colonialist powers and their proxy terrorists.
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5



Mohammed moiduddin
10-02-2014 07:32am
46-
7+
The military runs everything
How can there be democracy. Judiciary and military love power
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4



J.M.Jordan
09-02-2014 11:27pm
3-
60+
Party founder a former leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood...
...says it all. No wonder the party he founded has these reactions. But it doesn't mean that they are justified when one considers the whole picture. Muslim Brotherhood's own fault they'll not be coming back. They had all the chances of the world and what did they do with them. And what did they do when people could see black on white that at least 2 million more people wanted Morsi to go than had elected him. Did THEY think of Egypt as a whole nation. Or only of THEIR dreamt world caliphate.
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3



Nikos Retsos
09-02-2014 10:41pm
2-
1+
Egypt's Aboul-Fotouh will not run for president, party to boycott
There is no news about Egypt on the Western media. That media is focusing wholesale on overthrowing Ukrainian president Victor Yanukovich, and vilifying Russia for supporting him. Egypt has vanished from Google's News while other trivial pursuits fill the headlines. I had to type Egypt on the search engine to bring the news up on the computer screen, which also brought up an article in the Washington Post alleging that the U.S. support the Egyptian military's move to consolidate power with "mockery elections," as the "Strong Egypt Party" describe General Sissi's upcoming elections. I mention this because the U.S. and Europe talk about supporting democracy, while, at the same time, trying to overthrow the democratically elected government in Ukraine, but in parallel support a military junta in Egypt. And, to add insult to injury, they flood the Web media with mudslinging of Ukrainian president Victor Yanukovich, while Google's crawler leaves all news about Egypt out - surely at the request of the U.S. government! It is a shame for any person to search exclusively to find out what happens in Egypt while so much trashy stuff fill the Web's news pages and headlines! Nikos Retsos, retired professor
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2



Brian
09-02-2014 10:11pm
2-
55+
Strong Egypt Party
It would seem that Mr. Fottouh does not respect the fact the Fieldmarshall El-Sisi is an Egyptian citizen and has every right to run in the presidential elections..indeed it is paradoxical that the very principles that Mr. Fottouh purports to uphold, he would deny to the fieldmarshall... could it be that Mr. Fottouh's opposition to a presidential bid by F.M. El-Sisi is borne solely out of the overwhelming expectation that he {El-Sisi} will win a landslide victory?... How is it democratic to try to eliminate any person { and in this case.. a person who appears to be preeminantly qualified to become president}.. It is well known that any army officer who seeks public office in Egypt, out of honour and respect { not necessity} will seek the approval of the army council so why is Mr. Fottouh making such a big deal of this?? did he { Mr. Fottouh} show his organisation { the Muslim Brotherhood } such respect when he broke from them { supposedly} because he wished to run for president against their {MB} express wishes..maybe he can take a lesson in honour and respect from FM El-Sisi.. and this constant reference to freedom of speech and censorship of the press is pathetic.. Egypt is in the middle of a war on terrorism. The MB seems intent on destroying state institutions and therefore the egyptian country and people so what would Mr. Fottouh like the interim government to do?? allow any extremist to appear on tv and write in the newspapers how their supporters should engage in terrorism and extremism?? For sure this would happen and the calls would be answered by the mercenary and the rabble of the country. Any country in the world { including and especially the most ardent critics of the events in Egypt} would undoubtedly take any and all steps to prevent the terrorists from preaching their message of hatred, sectarianism and terrorism..it's only common sense but people such as Mr. Fottouh only seek to make political capital by opposing what is so obviously necessary in these times.. I would challenge Mr. Fottouh not to take the cowards way out by boycotting the election and stand before the people of Egypt and let them decide the validity of his words with votes { or lack of them} NOBODY is fooled by this supposed taking of the high moral ground
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1



Abu Saif
09-02-2014 02:19pm
32-
36+
Bad move
We will miss your input in this process now I am sad you pulled the pin and ran away like others referencing Mr. El Baradie
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