Egyptian presidential candidate Moussa Mostafa Moussa arrives at the National Election Authority on Monday, January 29, 2018- Egypt Today/Mohamed El-Hosary
CAIRO – 29 January 2018: “I am not a background actor in the 2018 presidential election and no one moves me,” Moussa Mostafa Moussa, chairperson of El-Ghad Party and last-minute presidential candidate, said in an interview with Egypt Today on Monday.
Moussa denies he is running as a "phony" competitor in the presidential election, affirming he has not taken instructions from any governmental institution to join the race.
Moussa submitted the documents required for his candidacy to the National Election Authority (NEA) on Monday, which marks the last day for candidates to submit their documents.
Supporters of Moussa’s nomination for president
When asked about their previous support of El-Ghad Party to Sisi, Moussa answered, “During the previous stage, in which we supported Sisi, we were not rivals and we played a role to help him complete the construction process. But the situation now becomes completely different, as we decided to participate in the presidential election. We see the citizens’ sufferings of economic conditions. We have a vision that we can be achieved by being part of the system.”
Moussa also said that the Egyptian Council for Arab Tribes, which includes more than 40 million citizens, and the General Union for Farmers supported his candidacy.
Vision to tackle current challenges and external affairs
“We cannot live in isolated islands far from the world. There are global economic blocs that affect the global situation. Egypt doesn’t have self-sufficiency of food and we still import wheat from abroad, and this means that we still depend on the outside countries in our financial aid. We must change our foreign policy,” Moussa said.
View of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD)
Moussa stated, “In fact, addressing the issue of GERD needs a political solution. All countries have the right of development, and Ethiopia is seeking to build this dam in order to generate electricity and export it abroad. We agree on Ethiopia’s development plan, but we reject attempts to harm our water quota, which is a national security issue.”
Muslim Brotherhood states if Moussa wins presidential elections
Moussa asserted that he will not deal with those whose hands are “contaminated with blood,” adding that there would be “no understanding or sympathy with them. They are a malicious group and launch moves against Egypt, their homeland, from Europe, America and other Western countries.” Still, he asserted that the religious families have all respect.
Opinion of withdrawn presidential candidates
“I think they seek deliberately embarrassing Egypt in front of the world, and I wish there were five candidates, for the presidency to be a strong competition,” Moussa said.
Commenting about the nomination of Sayed Al-Badawi, chairperson of Al-Wafd Party, he said that Badawi didn’t have good relations with the Al-Wafd supreme committee and so the committee supported Sisi instead of him.
Dispute with Ayman Nour
Moussa said Ayman Nour has sold his country and is a man with no principles and values. He lives in Turkey and receives funding from abroad, while he also founded a satellite station to broadcast rumors and lies against the state.
Moussa became the chairperson of El-Ghad Party in September 2005 following fierce disputes with Nour, who founded El-Ghad Party in 2004 after the Parties' Affairs Commission had refused Nour's request to set up a political party three times.
In October 2005, Moussa headed a meeting for El-Ghad's supreme committee, dismissed Nour from the party's chairmanship and declared himself the new president of El-Ghad Party. One month earlier, Nour announced the removal of Moussa from his post as a deputy chairperson.
In November 2008, the dispute between Moussa and Nour reached its peak, and both leaders' supporters engaged in violent clashes that resulted in setting the party's headquarters on fire. Nour's wife, prominent anchorwoman Gamila Ismail, accused Moussa's supporters of deliberately burning the party's building.
In May 2011, the conflict between Moussa and Nour ended with recognizing Moussa as the legitimate chairman of El-Ghad Party, according to a decision made by the Parties' Affairs Commission.
"A few months after Ayman Nour and I founded El-Ghad Party, Nour decided to run for the presidential election in 2005. He should have frozen his partisan membership, but he manipulated and refused to freeze it," Moussa told Egypt Today on Monday, adding that El-Ghad's leaders discovered that Nour was involved in a suspicious financial deal to fund his presidential campaign.
Voting in the 2018 presidential election in Egypt will commence on March 26, as announced by the National Electoral Authority (NEA) on January 8. Sixty million eligible voters will cast their ballots in the election between March 26 and 28 in Egypt, while expatriates will vote between March 16 and 18.
In a press conference held by NEA Chairman Lasheen Ibrahim, he affirmed that the final list of candidates will be announced on February 24, noting that the deadline for any candidate to retract their candidacy is March 1.
The final results of the first round will be announced on April 2.
If no candidate obtains the majority vote, a three-day run-off round will commence in Egypt on April 24, and on April 19 abroad.
“The name of the winning candidate will be announced on May 1,” Ibrahim stated.
Additional reporting by Nawal El-Sayed