Presidential candidate Amr Moussa casts his vote at a polling station during a parliamentary election in Cairo (Photo: Reuters)
In an interview with Spanish news agency EFE, former Egyptian foreign minister, ex-Arab League head and presidential hopeful Amr Moussa spoke about current developments in Egypt and his own political aspirations.
Moussa described Egypt’s ongoing parliamentary polls as “proof” that Egypt’s January revolution had succeeded. He attributed the unexpectedly large voter turnout in the first phase of polling on Monday and Tuesday to the fact that “the vast majority of Egyptians will not allow chaos to affect their lives.” The comment came in reference to recent popular disapproval of the practices and policies of Egypt’s ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF).
Moussa added that the apparent gap between the people and military council had been “exaggerated,” asserting that those currently camped out in Cairo’s Tahrir Square represented political currents that do not share a common set of demands.
Hundreds of protesters have remained in the square since a 19 November demonstration against police brutality, which led to deadly clashes between security forces and protesters that left at least 40 of the latter dead. As the clashes intensified, the demonstration gradually turned into one against military rule.
For the sake of a "balanced" parliament shared between various parties and political orientations, Moussa called on Egyptian voters to take part in the polls.
Recent proposals to form an “advisory council” to advise the incoming government were endorsed by Moussa. He said the presence on the council of representatives of all political trends would serve as a “safety net” that would help restore stability, in reference to recent tension between political forces, the SCAF and the SCAF-appointed government.
The former Arab League secretary-general also confirmed that he had turned down an offer by SCAF head Field-Marshal Mohamed Tantawi to assume the premiership after the SCAF had accepted the resignation of the Essam Sharaf government following the 19 November protests. The former FM defended the move, saying it was “not the right time” for him to serve as prime minister since he was currently focusing on his bid for the presidency.
Moussa went on to state that he expected his presidential rivals to exploit his previous position as foreign minister under ousted president Hosni Mubarak for political gain. He added, however, that this did not worry him, since his presidential campaign enjoyed the support of “many parties and groups.”