Egyptian presidential hopeful near recovery after car attack

Ahram Online, Saturday 25 Feb 2012

Islamist presidential hopeful says attack will not deter him from 'serving his country'; Political actors come out against authorities blaming security deterioration and former regime members

Would-be presidential candidate Abdel Moneim ABoul Fotouh during a public rally in his campaign (Photo: Reuters)

The presidential campaign of would-be presidential candidate Abdel-Moneim Aboul Fotouh released a statement Saturday stating that Aboul Fotouh and his driver are nearing recovery following Thursday night's attack on Aboul Fotouh's car on a highway on the outskirts of Cairo.

Though the statement does not accuse a specific entity or person of plotting the attack, it proclaims that the attack would not deter Aboul Fotouh from any of his current activities or his quest to "continue serving his country for the rest of his life."

The prominent Islamist and former Muslim Brotherhood figure Aboul Fotouh suffered a concussion Thursday night after three men armed with rifles assaulted him and his driver on Cairo's Ring Road and stole his car, his campaign manager Ali El-Bahnasawy told reporters.

Following the attack, a diverse range of political actors and groups issued condemnations, holding authorities responsible for the assault, be it a planned scare tactic or a mere robbery allowed to happen because of failures in security.

Mohamed ElBaradei said on his Twitter account Friday that "A military council and a government unable to secure a prominent presidential candidate let alone an entire country. Makes them [current rulers] the problem not the solution"

April 6 Youth Movement condemned the attack on Aboul Fotouh in an official statement Friday, describing it as a crime perpetrated by the remnants of Mubarak's regime who are "fighting their last battle" with the revolution.

Egyptian Social Democratic Party  released a statement Saturday holding the ruling military junta and the country's security officials responsible for the attacks on Aboul Fotouh and Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) MP Hassan El-Prince in a separate incident in the "continuation of the systematic violent approach in dealing with political opponents under the guise of a security lapse."

Would-be presidential candidate and former head of the Arab League Amr Moussa said on his official Twitter account Friday, "The attack on Dr Aboul Fotouh is a reason for great concern and it indicates that security has reached a level of deterioration that should not be tolerated"

Parliamentarian and deputy of the Muslim Brotherhood's FJP Essam El-Erian said the interior ministry should be held accountable for the "continuing negligence" in security that led to the attacks against Aboul Fotouh and El-Prince. El-Erian also added on his Twitter account, that the recurring attacks targeting political figures proves that attempts are being made to thwart "real change" and the handover of power to civilian rule.

In a development in the attack on the MP El-Prince Friday night, the driver who crashed into the MP's car was acquitted after the parliamentarian's lawyers dropped all charges. The driver said upon his arrest that he was not aware of El-Prince's identity and denied he was hired to assassinate the MP. The Muslim Brotherhood's FJP statement on the incident described it as a failed assassination attempt.

The leading Alexandria-based Muslim Brotherhood member had recently announced that he had received death threats because of his efforts working on transferring ousted president Hosni Mubarak from the exclusive International Medical Centre to Tora Prison's hospital pending the trial's verdict.

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