Thursday, 17 May 2012

Egypt: Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh is the presidential candidate uniting different factions within the country

The presidential contest is not only between Amr Moussa and Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh. They might have had the first television debate but two others, the official candidate of the country's best organised political movement, the Muslim Brotherhood, Mohamed Morsi, and the former prime minister Ahmed Shafiq, are also serious contenders. Two are former ministers. Shafiq, in particularly, appeals to the desire to restore law and order. Moussa, in his television debate, sought to distance himself from the regime which he had served as foreign minister.

The strength of Aboul Fotouh is equally his weakness. He has been trying to appeal to all voters. He was originally a Salafist and has the endorsement of the Salafists. He became a Muslim Brother but fell out with them. He has the support of younger Muslim Brothers who do not care for their rigid and elderly leaders. And he has also reached out to Copts and others as a moderate voice.

His critics, however, argue that he is so bent on power that he will sell any of his principles. Of all the candidates, he is the major one nearest to being a candidate uniting all different factions within the country.

For more news and expert analysis about Egypt, please see Egypt Politics & Security.

© 2012 Menas Associates

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