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Key politician accuses authorities of setting up 'republic of fear' in Egypt

Islamist politician and former presidential candidate Abdel Moneim Aboul-Fotouh accused on Sunday the military backed authorities of establishing a "republic of fear" in Egypt, saying that "there is no democracy" as the government claims.


In a press conference, Aboul-Fotouh revealed that he would not be running in the upcoming presidential elections expected to take place in April. "We will not take part, we do not accept to take part, in an act of deception," he declared, arguing that such elections offer only the choice of "yes". He described the current process to be a mere "mockery".

Describing Egypt as a "republic of fear", Aboul-Fotouh said: "Every Egyptian is afraid; everyone is concerned about his safety." He mentioned that there are more than 21,000 activists currently in prison. He also noted that a hotel owner refused to host his press conference.

Abdoul-Fotouh explained that: "Any Egyptian who needs to express his opinion or comment on the situation is afraid of the consequences. He is afraid of detention, raids, false accusations, contempt of court, etc…"

He pledged that Egyptians would not accept the situation of living in a "republic of fear" after they had successfully deposed the Mubarak regime and after the turnout on 30 June. "People who broke the barrier of fear will not surrender," he said.

Aboul-Fotouh broke with the Muslim Brotherhood when it initially decided not to nominate a presidential candidate in the wake of the 25 January revolution.

Field Marshal Abdul-Fattah Al-Sisi, aged 59, ousted the first ever freely elected Egyptian president, Mohammed Morsi, in a military coup on 3 July 2013. He is expected to run for president of Egypt; however, he has not officially announced his candidacy yet.

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