Egyptian presidential candidate Abdel Fatteh al-Sisi says the banned Muslim Brotherhood group will never return. The former military chief was speaking in the first television interview of his election campaign.
Sisi led the ouster of the Brotherhood’s Mohamed Mursi from the presidency last year after mass protests against Mursi’s rule.
When asked whether the Brotherhood would cease to exist during his presidency, the former military chief said: “Yes. That’s right. It’s not me that finished it – the Egyptians have.
The problem is not with me, it was with the Egyptian people. They have said ‘No’ twice [to the Brotherhood rule]. They have said ‘No’ on June 30th [2013, protests that lead to the ousting of the former President Mohammed Morsi] and they are saying ‘No’ to the Brotherhood now.”
Sisi is favourite to win the election scheduled for the end of this month.
Cairo resident Faid Bindery believes Sisi ‘saved’ Egypt from the Brotherhood: “Everyone loves him, maybe because they feel that he is the saviour.”
Local man Amir Wadid refered to Sisi’s only opponent in the presidential race:
“Hamdeen Sabahi used to be the favourite candidate for the youth during the Egypt revolution of January 25 (2011 that lead to overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak). But now Egypt needs a strong man. Al-Sisi stood in the face of the last regime and (is standing) in this difficult time when people are getting shot and killed.”
The Muslim Brotherhood says it is committed to peaceful activism. It has accused Sisi of staging a coup and masterminding the removal of Mursi, Egypt’s first freely elected president.