CAIRO - 3 February 2018: Number of politicians slammed the Civil Democratic Movement (CDM) for issuing a statement that criticizes the speech of President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi during the inauguration of the Zohr natural gas field on Wednesday in Port Said.
Defending Sisi’s patriotism, Samir al-Khouli, assistant secretary general of the Egypt Support Coalition affirmed Sisi’s respect for the previous two peaceful revolutions. Khouli said Sisi was the first to acknowledge the January 25, 2011 and June 30, 2013 revolutions. He added that Sisi sworn in as president under the Egyptian constitution, which recognizes the two revolutions.
Khouli denied the alleged "candidates’ evacuation of the political scene,” and attacked Hamdeen Sabahi, the founder and leader of the Egyptian Popular Current, which is part of the CDM. “Hamdeen and those like him caused the political [scene] which has to be evacuated [due to] their powerlessness and [ineffectiveness],” Khouli added.
Khouli said that Sabahi’s statements, issued specifically at this time, are an attempt to deter people from voting in the March 2018 presidential election in order to embarrass the country and confuse the public opinion. “Your malicious remarks are exposed,” Khouli said referring to Sabahi.
Denying the Egyptian Support Coalition’s effectiveness, Yahya al-Kedwani, the undersecretary of the Parliament's Committee for Defense and National Security said that the CDM has no popularity in the Egyptian streets, and that it consists of a group of unrepresentative persons.
More than 500 parliamentarians endorsed Sisi's bid for a second term, Kedwani said, saying that these are people’s representatives. “We are in a critical stage that requires everyone to come together to face all the conspiracies Egypt faces.”
On January 29, spokesperson of Sisi’s 2018 election campaign Mohamed Bahaa el-Din Abou Shoka said in a press conference, that a total of 915,000 endorsement forms have been submitted to the campaigners to endorse Sisi so far.
“The CDM statements damage the image of Egypt abroad,” Kedwani stated, adding: "If the regime oppressed the opposition, as claimed by the statement, then media would have not published the opposition’s views."
Affirming the CDM figures’ unpopularity, columnist Farida al-Shoubashi told Egypt Today that people did not react to one of the CDM persons’ announcement to run for president, and when they decided to withdraw, millions did not march down the streets for them, according to Shoubashi.
Referring to Sabahi, who ran solely against Sisi in 2014’s presidential election, Shoubashi said: “Hamdeen got a smaller number of votes than the invalid votes.” Following the election, judge Anwar El-Assi said that spoilt votes in the 2014 election exceeded the votes for Sabahi, with 1,040,608 ballots, state-owned Al-Ahram reported.
FILE: Sabahi embraces former general guide of the banned Muslim Brotherhood Mahdi Akef Shoubashi said that Sabahi allied with the terrorist-designated Muslim Brotherhood organization, in the parliament, when they came in power. “There is a conspiracy against Sisi,” Shoubashi stated.
Although Moussa Mostafa Moussa, chairperson of El-Ghad party, announced running for president in late January, Sabahi called, on Tuesday, for boycotting the 2018 election, because it is “an election without candidates or guarantees.”
For Al-Ahram, prominent poet Farouk Gowaida affirmed that President Sisi deserves another four-year term in office so as to continue his projects and achievements. Gowaida stressed that officials and opposition figures must be fully aware of foreign conspiracies that have been plotted against the Egyptian state.
In his controversial speech during the inauguration of the Zohr natural gas, Sisi stressed that he is not a man of politics and diplomacy when it comes to the country. He affirmed that he will do everything he can to preserve and maintain the country’s stability and security, even “if it costs [him his] own life.”
“You don’t know me well enough. I will never let anyone manipulate Egypt's security as long as I am alive. I can ask Egyptians' mandate again to combat terrorism, but I will not trouble them to do so now,” Sisi added.
Sabahi ran for president in Egypt’s first multi-candidate presidential election after the 2011 January revolution in 2012, when he finished third after former President Mohamed Morsi and Air Chief Marshal Ahmed Shafiq. In 2014’s election, Sisi won more than 96 percent of the nearly 23 million votes cast.
FILE: From left, Nobel peace winner Mohamed al-Baradei, founder of the National Popular Movement Hamdeen Sabahi, and lawyer Ayman Nour, former candidates of 2012 presidential election In May 2017, Sabahi announced that he would not run for president in the upcoming election. “I want you now to choose another candidate whom I will support,” Sabahi stated.
The CDM includes several prominent figures, including Sabahi and Hesham Genena, former head of Egyptian Central Auditing Organization. Genena had been campaigning for former military chief of staff Sami Anan, before Anan was arrested over charges of “forgery”.