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Heikal: I don't know who to vote for

Veteran journalist Heikal also said that Egypt was not currently under military rule, and never had been

Zeinab El Gundy, Monday 21 May 2012
Mohamed Hussein Heikal
Mohamed Hussein Heikal (Photo: Al-Ahram)
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Veteran journalist and writer Mohamed Hussein Heikal has revealed in the second part of an interview published in Al-Ahram Arabic newspaper that he is still undecided on who to vote for in the country's upcoming presidential election.

“I am still hesitant about participating in the presidential election, I do not know whom I shall vote for,” said Heikal, who in the first part of the interview criticised the presidential candidates for lacking any future vision for the country.  

Heikal also spoke about the drafting of the upcoming constitution, wondering how an important thing like the constitution could be drafted without a full representation from all sectors of society in month or two.

“We draft our upcoming constitution, like the American constitution, to keep its main articles with the right to add amendments as they want,” Heikel suggested, giving examples from the previous constitutions in Egypt’s modern history.

The attempts to draft a constitution before the presidential elections in Egypt have failed so far, after non-Islamist parties and public figures withdrew from the constituent assembly in protest at the dominance of Islamists.

Regarding the constitution, Heikal said, “Having a religious state in the Mediterranean will create lots of problems.”

The crises the country has faced over the last year, ranging from clashes, political missteps regarding the constituent assembly and other things, mean the political powers, including the ruling military council, are improvising as they go along.

The former minister of information spoke said the priorities of the president should be security, economics, the administration, education, slums, unemployment, media, foreign policy and relations with Arab countries.

He went on to criticise the popular chant: "Down with the military rule,” which he described as "inappropriate and unacceptable," adding that Egypt had not experienced and would never experience military rule even if there were rulers who came from military backgrounds like Mohamed Ali Pasha , Ahmed Orabi and Gamal Abdel-Nasser.

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