Presidential candidate vows to grant military greater power in new constitution

Former parliament member and presidential hopeful Hamdeen Sabbahi on Thursday vowed to grant the army with higher powers, if he held the presidency.

In an interview with Al-Masry Al-Youm, Sabbahi said that the military “will be granted higher authorities,” if he assumes power. He added that “there would be an article in the constitution that widens its authority so security could be restored.”

Egyptian secular forces have called for following the Turkish model and requiring the military to protect secularism in Egypt through the constitution.

“I believe that the military will respect the people’s will in case it elects a civilian president and will cooperate with him,” he added.

Sabbahi also said, “I’m against gas exporting to Israel. I’ll cut it once I become a president. Exporting gas to Israel is illegitimate.”

However, Sabbahi considered Muslim Brotherhood leader Abdel Moneim Abouel Fotouh and Vice-President of the Court of Cassation Hesham el-Bastawisi both eligible for the presidential post.

According to Sabbahi, potential presidential candidate Amr Moussa, “is the most famous among the Egyptians, and we, the people, go for whom we know better.”

However, Sabbahi assured that he has a better chance than other candidates to win, saying he is the candidate most aware of Egyptians’ problems.

Sabbahi said that Abouel Fotouh is the best one to speak on the Brotherhood’s behalf. He added that current crisis erupted because he expressed willingness to run for presidency, which got the Brotherhood in trouble. According to Abouel Fotouh, the Brotherhood faces the choice of either equivocating or appearing to have lost control of its members. Choosing the former would lead to a loss of credibility, while choosing the latter would lead to a decline in prestige.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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