Presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabahy said Friday night that, according to the constitution, the armed forces “is not above parliamentary monitoring” during a televised interview on privately-owned satellite channel CBC. He added that it would not be above other institutions and its personnel would not replace civilian experts.
Resigned Field Marshal and presidential candidate Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi evaded a similar question, which involved civilian monitoring of the armed forces through parliament, during his first interview last week.
Sabahy stated that his project seeks “a successful state with all its sectors,” adding that the next president should not depend on the military as the only functioning institution, but instead on running state institutions and civil society.
Sabahy mentioned that he is the candidate of the democratic camp because he has been an active citizen for 40 years, and is familiar with the problems of different segments of society, including students, workers, farmers and the middle class, among others.
“I am proud that the majority of the youth segment supports me,” he said.
Sabahy asserted that he is capable of tackling the country’s security challenges, arguing that extremism should be faced with “political will” using the help of security experts – “not just with a security approach”.
The presidential candidate said that he would not accept an executive position if he loses the elections. He announced, however, that he is willing to use Al-Sisi’s security expertise if he becomes president if the former field marshal “agrees to cooperate with him”.
In response to a question concerning stepping down while in office, Sabahy stated he would do so if “massive protests, with the same popularity of 25 January and 30 June demanded his removal”.
“The armed forces are not capable of moving a single soldier or tank if it weren’t for the will of the people in the streets,” Sabahy stated in reference to the possibility that the armed forces “threaten him as they did former president Mohamed Morsi”.
Sabahy accused members of Al-Sisi’s campaign of attacking and accusing him of being a Muslim Brotherhood candidate and, at one point, being one of Mubarak’s men, “who were part of Mubarak’s corrupt state and took part in stealing Egypt’s political will and fortunes”.
Sabahy added that he had publicly opposed the ousted president while his opponent was still saluting him as president.
Sabahy’s campaign announced they would hold a series of marches in support of the presidential candidate in Cairo and Giza governorates on Saturday. Sabahy will appear on state television Saturday night.