Egypt Losing Candidates not Endorse Any For Runoff
Published Monday, 28 May 2012 16:27 | Written by Amwal Al Ghad
Two of Egypt’s losing candidates, Amr Moussa and Abdel Moneim Abou Al Fotouh, on Monday declined to endorse either of the presumed front runners in a presidential election runoff.
Moussa and Abou Al Fotouh spoke at separate news conferences as unofficial figures showed that Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohammed Mursi was set for a second round runoff against Ahmed Shafiq, the last prime minister under ousted president Hosni Mubarak.
“I reject these results and do not recognize them,” said Abdel Moneim Abou Al Fotouh, alleging that votes had been bought and representatives of candidates had been denied access to polling stations during the count.
“The national conscience does not allow for labeling these elections honest,” he added.
“There are question marks on the result of the election,” Moussa told a separate news conference. “There were violations, but this should not change our minds on democracy and the necessity of choosing our president.”
Both Mursi and Shafiq had reached out to the losing candidates in a bid to broaden their appeal, after an election that polarised the nation.
A “return to the old regime is unacceptable. So is exploiting religion in politics,” Moussa told a press conference.
“Egyptians will only be comfortable with a civil state. A religious state is something very divisive,” he warned.
Moussa had said before the presidential election, the first since Egypt’s 2011 uprising, that he would retire from politics if his bid failed.
On Monday, however, he left the door open for talks with the other parties.
“I will not be consulting with anyone. If they want to consult with me, I will consider it,” he said.
Abou Al Fotouh also refused to openly back a single candidate, but said a return to the old regime was unacceptable.
“We will announce our position when the results are announced,” said Abou Al Fotouh.
“The most important thing is that people don’t vote for a felool,” Abul Fotouh said, using a common pejorative term for members of the old regime.
Moussa, who served as foreign minister under Mubarak before becoming head of the Arab League, had been expected to do well in the presidential vote, which saw 13 candidates competing for the votes of some 50 million eligible Egyptians.
Fotouh, who campaigned on a consensus platform, had been tipped as a frontrunner with Moussa, but unofficial results put them at fourth and fifth respectively, after Nasserist candidate Hamdeen Sabbahi.
Egypt’s electoral commission was expected to publicly announce the official results of the first round vote later on Monday.
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