Egypt’s former spymaster Omar Suleiman lashed out at the Muslim Brotherhood and insisted his candidacy for the presidency would restore stability, as the two sides sparred on Monday ahead of next month’s polls.
The Brotherhood, which dominates parliament and is heavily tipped for the presidency, has “lost a lot of its popularity,” according to Suleiman, who was military intelligence chief under ousted president Hosni Mubarak.
Suleiman, a sworn enemy of Islamists before last year’s revolution which brought down Mubarak, vowed not to drop out of the May 23-24 election despite alleged threats from Islamists.
The former general played down his links with the ousted regime or with the military which has been ruling Egypt in the interim since Mubarak’s fall.
Suleiman said he could “save the country from its chaos” by restoring security and attracting foreign investors to return to Egypt.
The Brotherhood’s candidate for next month’s polls, Khairat El-Shater, likened Suleiman’s candidacy to an attempt “to steal the revolution” and warned it could set off another round of huge street protests.
Registration for candidates in Egypt’s first post-uprising presidential election closed on Sunday, amid last-minute twists and turns that have shaken the political race.
Apart from Shater, the candidates include former Arab League chief Amr Mussa, ultra-conservative Islamist preacher Hazem Abu Ismail. Suleiman himself registered less than half an hour before the deadline.