Hisham El-Bastawisi (Photo: Al-Ahram)
Presidential hopeful Hisham El-Bastawisi stated during a campaign conference in Alexandria on Saturday that if he became president one of his main priorities would be to rebuild good relations with Iran.
He added that he would not only be seeking better relations not only between Iran and Egypt but also between Iran and all other Arab countries.
A judge himself, El-Bastawisi said he would work to secure judicial independence and seek to hold accountable all former regime figures involved in corruption, including ousted president Hosni Mubarak.
El-Bastawisi promised to revise the Camp David Accords with Israel so they met Egypt's interests, adding that the army should be present in Sinai to protect the country's borders, something not possible under to the 1979 treaty.
The leftist candidate added that Israel's insistence on maintaining its exclusive religious identity would only create a reaction in the religious states surrounding it, adding that the only way to achieve real peace was to transform Israel into a two-nation state.
Hisham El-Bastawisi is a prominent reformist judge, and a well-known political figure who led democratic opposition to the Mubarak regime in the judiciary branch of government.
He was known for standing up against Egypt’s autocratic regime, having played a key role in the struggle for judiciary independence in the last decade of Hosni Mubarak’s rule. He announced his intention to run for the presidency in March 2011.
He was endorsed by the left-wing Tagammu Party in March of 2012, and, in this way, overcame the hurdle of gathering 30,000 recommendations from citizens to get on the ballots.
Presidential elections will take place on 23 and 24 May, and the president will be named on 21 June after a runoff voting round on 16 and 17 June.