Egypt army kills hope: female presidential candidate

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BRUSSELS: The Egyptian military is stifling hope for change and cannot be trusted to manage the country’s transition to democracy, the nation’s first female presidential candidate said on Tuesday.

She also said she was very concerned a military general was in the presidential race.

"They announced at the beginning that the presidential election will be in April 2012 … and now they announce that it will be in 2013," Bothaina Kamel, Egyptian presidential candidate told Reuters by telephone.

"We can’t trust the (military) … They kill all of our hope," said Kamel, who is campaigning on a platform to fight corruption and reduce poverty.

Kamel was speaking from Strasbourg, where she attended a hearing at the European Parliament on progress in Egypt following the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak who ruled for three decades.

Top generals initially said they would relinquish power six months after the popular uprising, but have extended the transition period to allow political parties to build support before elections.

Parliamentary elections are scheduled for Nov. 28 and presidential elections either at the end of 2012 or 2013.

Kamel voiced concern Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi would also stand for president.

"And now we have some kind of campaign in Egypt, a campaign for General Tantawi as president," she said.

A campaign run by local youth called "Egypt Above All" said it aimed to gather one million signatures to back Tantawi, who heads the 24-member ruling military council.

The army has yet to comment on the campaign.

Before her entry into politics, Kamel was a well-known television anchor and radio host.

Her radio call-in show, Eterafat Al-Leyali (Night Confessions), was banned by the government on religion grounds and because it damaged the country’s reputation.

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