Moussa declines to support either Egypt presidential finalist

Ahram Online, Monday 28 May 2012

Eliminated presidential candidate Amr Moussa declines to throw weight behind Morsi or Shafiq, stresses rejection of both 'religious state' and 'return of old regime'

Amr Moussa
Egyptian former presidential candidate Amr Moussa speaks during a news conference in his campaign headquarters in Cairo, May 28, 2012. (Photo: Reuters)

Former presidential candidate Amr Moussa has said he would support neither of Egypt’s presidential finalists, voicing his rejection of both a “religious state” and a state “run by remnants of the former regime,” the former Arab League chief said at a press conference on Monday.

Official vote results put Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsi and Mubarak-era minister Ahmed Shafiq in first and second place respectively, meaning that the two will face off in a runoff vote next month.

Moussa stressed that there was no relation between politics and religion, saying that Egyptians should vote according to the country’s interests.

"They [the Brotherhood] are using religion to mislead Egyptians, who are proving to be more aware," Moussa claimed.

He went on to say, however, that "a return of the old [Mubarak] regime is not acceptable."

Moussa stressed his refusal to collaborate with any of his rival presidential candidates.

The two presidential finalists, meanwhile, have called on their eliminated counterparts to support their respective campaigns.

Moussa came in fifth according to unofficial results; moderate Islamist Abdel-Moneim Abul-Fotouh came in fourth; while Nasserist Hamdeen Sabbahi came in third.

Moussa, who had been widely anticpated to make the runoffs, is a former foreign minister and career diplomat who enjoys a high profile both in Egypt and internationally.

Official results of last week’s first-round vote are expected to be announced on Monday.

Runoffs are scheduled for 16 and 17 June.

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