Fourth place Abul-Fotouh: Do not elect former regime figure for president

Zeinab El Gundy, Monday 28 May 2012

Describing the presidential elections as unfair, Former Brotherhood leader Abdel-Moneim Abul-Fotouh, who failed to qualify for runoffs set for June, urges Egyptians not to vote for former regime

Abdel Moneim Abu El Fotouh
Abdel-Moneim Abul-Fotouh at press conference on 28 May, 2012 (Photo: Mai Shaheen)

Presidential candidate Abdel-Moneim Abul-Fotouh held a press conference on Monday afternoon to discuss the first stage of the presidential elections, in which he landed in fourth place according to the results announced by the Supreme Presidential Electoral Commission (SPEC).

“I would reject the results of these presidential elections even if I were the winner,” Abul-Fotouh said, after thanking all the volunteers in his campaign and those who voted for him in the elections.

“We hoped that the fairness of the presidential elections would be close to the integrity of the parliamentary elections but this unfortunately did not happen and we have reasons to believe the presidential elections were not fair,” he continued.

“The Supreme Presidential Electoral Commission did not give our campaign the lists of the voters, unlike the Parliamentary Electoral Commission, which gave all candidates CDs with the complete lists of voters in every district,” Abul-Fotouh said. He added that delegates of the campaign were forced to leave the polling stations by security forces during the vote count from 9pm on Thursday 24 May until 8am on Friday.

Abul-Fotouh also spoke about bribes used in the elections. “Whether it is money or oil or sugar given to the voters, these were violations that took place either by the remnants of the regime or by some parties. I warned about ‘political money’ months ago,” the popular Islamist presidential candidate said.

The SPEC had a responsibility to investigate these criminal violations, he added.

Responding to a question about the decision of the SPEC to reject all appeals, Abul-Fotouh attributed this to Article 28 of the constitutional declaration, which grants the commission immunity from petitions and appeals in front of the courts.

He also asked that the SPEC adjourn the runoffs until the High Constitutional Court reaches a decision regarding the disenfranchisement law, which might mean that Ahmed Shafiq, who came in second and therefore will be in the runoff, is excluded from the presidential race. 

When asked about whether he would endorse publicly one of the two candidates in the runoffs, Abul-Fotouh urged the people not to vote for Mubarak’s former regime members.

"I do not call the people to vote for this or that in the runoffs but I call on you to not vote for the former regime figures, as time will not go backward," Abul-Fotouh said. 

He added that he and his campaign will continue working towards the realisation of his presidential platform project 'Strong Egypt'. He will meet with campaign members and volunteers on Monday night to discuss the future of the project, hinting at the possibility that his campaign, which includes nearly 90,000 volunteers, might turn into a movement or party that would contest local council elections.

“The youth should not despair,” he said. “More than 12 million Egyptians voted for revolutionary candidates.”  

Commenting on the planned alliance with presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabbahi that did not materialise in the days before the polls, and ultimately resulted in a split pro-revolutionary vote, Abul-Fotouh revealed that he did not refuse the alliance with Sabbahi. It was those involved in managing the alliance who made it impossible, he said. 

During the press conference, Abul-Fotouh denied having any kind of meetings with the Muslim Brotherhood’s presidential candidate Mohamed Morsi or with members of Islamist group Al-Jamaa Al-Islamiya in the past few days regarding endorsing the Brotherhood candidate in the runoffs

Ali Behnassawy, the official spokesperson for Abul-Fotouh’s campaign, also denied to Ahram Online recent reports that Abul-Fotouh tried to convince Sabbahi to endorse Morsi.  

Runoffs for the presidential elections are slated for 16 and 17 of June.

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