Egypt Brotherhood member says to seek presidency

Thu May 12, 2011 9:43am GMT

A poll published on April 22 in the staterun Ahram newspaper showed Abul Futuh and outgoing Arab League chief Amr Moussa, with the highest voter support at 20 percent, while Mohamed ElBaradei, a retired U.N. diplomat, had 12 percent support.

A senior Brotherhood member said Abul Futuh's decision was personal and the group would not back his candidacy. "Abul Futuh's decision counters the Brotherhood's official decision," said Sobhi Saleh, a leading Brotherhood member in Alexandria.


Abul Futuh said he would be able to heal divisions between Muslims and Egypt's minority Christians. Sectarian clashes in a Cairo district this month killed 12 people.

"Such sectarian strife makes me more determined to pursue the presidency. As elements of religious extremism creep up in the transition period, the country needs someone who is best connected to the Muslim, Christian and liberal sides of the political spectrum," he said.

Abul Futuh said Egyptians, not any Western fears, would determined Egypt's future.

"Now that Egyptians have retrieved their country which was stolen from them, no one but they can determine their future. Egyptians will determine who leads them and no foreign pressure can say who leads the new Egypt," he said.

"What is needed are good bilateral relations with international sides. But the West will not rule us," he said.

Egypt's military rulers have promised a swift handover to civilian rule. The presidential and parliamentary votes will be watched closely in the region and the West to see how the Arab world's most populous nation makes the transition to democracy.   Continued...

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