Sisi to launch presidential campaign in "the next few days"
Former Arab League chief and Egypt’s ex-Foreign Minister Amr Moussa said earlier this week that the announcement that the official launch of the presidential campaign of Field Marshal Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi was only days away.
Moussa told Asharq Al-Awsat: “The decision by Field Marshal Sisi to run for president has now been finalized, and we agreed on the necessity to present the outlines of the program and its main ideas to the people.”
Moussa added that Sisi will announce his decision to run in the next few days, and will announce his political platform shortly afterwards.
Moussa, who ran unsuccessfully for president in 2012, did not specify an exact date but claimed that work was in full swing on drafting Sisi’s program.
Sisi, the head of the Egyptian armed forces and defense minister, won wide popularity among Egyptians when the army sided with mass protests among Egyptians to depose Muslim Brotherhood-backed president Mohamed Morsi in 2013.
Speculation has grown since Morsi’s ousting in last August that Sisi intends to run for president.
Sisi, together with political and religious leaders, drew up a political roadmap in July 2013, which included amending the constitution and holding presidential and parliamentary elections. The transitional government has completed the first part at the start of this year, with the adoption of a new constitution.
Moussa served as head of the committee of fifty which drafted the new constitution.
Moussa said: “Field Marshal Sisi’s program proposes moving on two axes: the first is to rebuild the state on modern foundations by implementing the articles of the 2014 constitution, which was passed by the Egyptian people in a public referendum; and the second axis relies on the inclusion of the people in the optimism for the future, which aims at achieving comprehensive development, and putting people in the picture transparently, regarding the economic situation of the country.”
Moussa claimed that Sisi’s program would focus on implementing the principles outlined in Egypt’s new constitution, including non-discrimination, respect for human rights, and achieving social justice, especially in light of projections of Egypt’s growing population.
Moussa further added that Sisi’s program included a plan to make fundamental changes to the borders of a number of governorates, in an attempt to jump-start economic development. He said this would involve change to the administrative map, and that the boundaries of governorates in Upper Egypt would be extended east and west.
Moussa said: “The main pillars of the program aim at eliminating poverty and achieving a rapid and tangible improvement in the quality of life for all Egyptians, bring the middle class back to its natural size, restore security, and reform state institutions and ensure the efficiency and discipline in the performance of their role and the fight against corruption.”
Elsewhere in Egypt, the office of Egypt’s interim president, Adly Mansour, rejected calls to reconsider a controversial measure making the decisions of Egypt’s Higher Presidential Elections Committee (HEPC) exempt from legal challenges.
Chancellor Ali Awad Saleh, a presidential constitutional adviser, said the presidency pointed out in its response that it could not accept the proposals because of the circumstances of the transitional period which the country was going through.
Saleh added that the presidency made its decision after taking advice from the General Assembly of the Constitutional Court, who said the immunization was constitutional.
However, a number of political parties announced their objection to the election law, and said the measure was illegal under the 2014 constitution. Prospective presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabahy said he rejected the move, but said it would not affect his decision about taking part.
A leading figure of the Muslim Brotherhood, Gamal Hashmat, in a statement to the Turkish Anadolu Agency on Saturday, said: “The Brotherhood wants to reach a political consensus akin to that which leader of the Tunisian Islamist Ennahda Party, Rached Ghannouchi, reached when he conceded authority.”
Tunisia’s Ennahda Party agreed to cede power to an interim technocratic government and allow fresh elections in January, after mounting public protests.
Hashmat added: “The Brotherhood is preparing to make an important political announcement in April,” and that the Brotherhood “intended to concede in order to unite the Egyptian people and restore democracy and freedoms.”
He further added that if the price of uniting Egyptians who supported legitimacy and democracy was for the Brotherhood and the Justice and Freedom Party to take a step or two backwards, and to take a back seat in the collective democracy, it was something acceptable which could be discussed.