CAIRO: Secretary General of the Arab League Amr Moussa said Tuesday that he supports the Egyptian candidate, Mostafa El-Fiqqi, as his successor over the Qatari candidate.
Moussa rejected criticism of El-Fiqqi and said that he is the best possible candidate.
Al-Fiqi is competing against Qatar’s candidate Abdel Rahman Al-Attia.
Youth movements and political groups refused the candidacy of El-Fiqqi, a former member of the disbanded National Democratic Party and consultant to ousted president Hosni Mubarak. Activists asked the government to field another candidate for the position.
Speaking at the celebration of Al-Tagammu Party’s 35th anniversary on Tuesday night, Moussa said that the Egyptian government has already started a round of diplomatic communication to support its chosen candidate.
"As Secretary General, I can’t comment on both candidates. But as an Egyptian citizen I want El-Fiqqi to win, which we will discuss in the next foreign ministers’ meeting," he added.
Moussa welcomed efforts to coordinate with political parties to support him in his campaign for the presidency; however, he said that he will run as an independent.
He refused to comment on the stances of the Muslim Brotherhood.
He also denied allegations of exploiting his position at the Arab League to serve his campaign.
"I am the Secretary General and it is natural that people visit me at my office. Allegations that I fund my campaign via the Arab League are nonsense," Moussa said.
He said that he was trying to use his Arab connections to support the Egyptian economy.
"I am in touch with the government in this matter because the conditions are exceptional and requires all our efforts," Moussa said.