Presidential candidate Abdel Fattah Sisi in Egypt said that prior Egyptian leaders have attempted to control the Muslim Brotherhood, but never completely succeeded. The top presidential candidate in Egypt says opponents of the anti-protest harsh law only want to sabotage the country.
In the campaign’s first session of questions and answers that was televised on Monday night, which will have another part on Tuesday, the former army field marshal took the questions from non-confrontational and friendly interviewers from two broadcasters in Egypt.
Sisi who was the defense minister and has been the de facto leader of Egypt for 10 months, said the Muslim Brotherhood could not reenter Egypt’s political forum. The group, once the largest political movement in the country, was formally branded with the label of terrorist organization by the current government. Thousands of the movement’s followers have been jailed and over 1,000 killed in battles with security forces.
The retired field marshal, who was dressed in a suit and tie for his appearance on television, declared that it was not the military’s behest to oust President Mohamed Morsi last July, but it was the people of Egypt that wanted it.
Sisi also said the sweeping crackdown on the movement was the implementation of a mandate supported by the people.
The forceful rejection by Sisi of any role publicly for the Muslim Brotherhood seems to be against the calls by the White House administration and other Western government for political inclusiveness in Egypt.
It also seems to set the stage for long-term confrontations with the supporters of the Brotherhood, which is the oldest Islamist organization in the region and one with very deep roots inside Egypt.
Over a number of decades, successive leaders in Egypt sought ways to curb and contain the movement, but could never fully succeed.
The interview on Monday, which was highly orchestrated, appeared to be setting the stage for the final three weeks of Sisi’s campaign prior to the vote.
Rather than having a question and answer period that was live due to possible unpredictable results, Sisi sat for the interview on Sunday and the video was carefully vetted before being released between Monday and Tuesday.
The people instantly took to Sisi after the ouster of Morsi and he continues to be the heavy favorite leading up to the election, although there have been some cracks emerge in his overall support.