Liberal minister would welcome El-Sisi presidential bid

Ahram Online , Sunday 8 Dec 2013

Egyptian Social Affairs Minister Ahmed El-Borai says army chief Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi is qualified to rule, would welcome his nomination for presidency as a civilian

Egypt's Minister of Social Affairs Ahmed El-Boraie, (Photo: Al-Ahram).

Army chief Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi possesses a far-sighted vision for Egypt and is qualified to run the country, Social Affairs Minister Ahmed El-Borai has said.

In an interview on CBC private satellite channel on Saturday, El-Borai, a member of the Social Democratic Party, said he had no qualms about El-Sisi standing for president.

"As long as he rules as a civilian, he is welcome to do that – we reject military rule in Egypt, but a president [with a military background] is something else," El-Borai said on the Hona Al-Asema programme.

El-Borai defended a controversial new protest law that has been labeled repressive by activists and rights campaigners.

The law, which requires activists to request permission at least three days before a demonstration, is seen by many as a tool for the authorities to limit dissent.

According to El-Borai, the law is not written in stone and may be amended. However, he said the law is not harsh and the government referred to European protest laws while drafting it.

Dozens of activists were arrested in Cairo when they defied the law a day after it came into effect in late November. A number of prominent activists remain in custody for their role in organising and taking part in the protest.

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