Amr Moussa launches electoral programme in Cairo slum

Nada Hussein, Wednesday 18 Apr 2012

Presidential contender Amr Moussa chooses impoverished neighborhood of Ezbet El-Haggana to announce his electoral programme

Amr Moussa
Amr Moussa (Photo: Reuters)

Amr Moussa, former Arab League chief and presidential candidate, headed to the impoverished Ezbet El-Haggana district on the capital's outskirts on Wednesday to unveil details of his electoral programme.

"I came to Ezbet El-Haggana to fulfil a promise I made to myself that this vision, this [electoral] programme be formulated with the ordinary Egyptian citizen at its heart," said Moussa.

In Ezbet El-Haggana, Moussa announced his programme for his first hundred days in office should he win Egypt's upcoming presidential poll, slated for next month. Until now, he has refrained from publicising details of his programme, due to regulations banning the release of candidates' electoral platforms before the expiry of an 8 April deadline for submitting candidacy applications.

Moussa declared that he planned to amend Egyptian labour laws so as to bring them into line with longstanding workers' demands. The presidential hopeful also announced that, after his first hundred days in office, he would conduct a public evaluation of his performance as president.

Moussa went on to say that he intended to implement a large-scale development project for the Suez Canal perimeter.

He also said that the rights of Egyptian women and young people would be given priority during his presidency. "Post-revolution Egypt will not be a country in which women are stripped of their rights and freedoms," he said. 

Moussa vowed that his appointed vice president would be drawn from Egypt's younger generation. He also told the audience that his electoral programme aimed to reduce poverty by 20 per cent within the four years of his presidential term.

Ezbet El-Haggana is an impoverished rural district 4.5 kilometres outside of Cairo on the road to Suez. Teeming with over one million residents, it is considered one of Cairo's poorest areas.

Moussa served as foreign minister under ousted former president Hosni Mubarak from 1991 to 2001, and was appointed Arab League secretary-general in 2001 – a position he held until last year.

Presidential elections will take place on 23 and 24 May, with a runoff round – if necessary – slated for 16 and 17 June. Egypt's new president will be formally named on 21 June.

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