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Prominent coup supporter calls for the army to leave political arena

The Egyptian army should leave politics, social and economic crisis and go back to its military bases, former nominee for Egyptian presidency Hamdeen Sabahi said on Tuesday.


Talking to Dream 2, an Egyptian TV channel, Sabahi said: “I understand why some people need a military president; because they are fearful of terrorism. But, I say to them that facing terrorism needs a political and social vision, not only security one.”

The solution to Egypt’s crisis, Sabahi suggested, is that the people choose “the hero of January 25 and June 30” from amongst them to be a civil president for the country. “The time to choose a person mixed with the dreams of Egyptians has come,” he said.

Sabahi said he does not care whether that man was him or not, but insisted that the idea that the state must serve the people, not vice versa, has to be reinforced. “The people are thanked for toppling Hosni Mubarak and Mohammed Morsi,” he said.

He continued: “Abilities and encouragement of the nation can achieve its goals as soon as possible and with the least costs. Strict procedures do not topple rulers, but if these procedures were against the poor’s interests, they would.”

After standing beside the army since the coup, Sabahi started to hint that he might run for presidency. He took several steps that split the pro-coup camp. “My devotion is to the poor,” he said, “but this them does not mean hostility to the rich.”

He continued: “To improve the life of the poor is a favour for the rich. I will support any measure taken by any president that favours the poor. I will support national capitalism, will not allow corruption, stealth or accumulation of money and will impose cumulative tax.”

On the issue of taxes, he said the owner of a small kiosk should pay taxes similar to the owner of a large firm. “If I became a president, I would not make room for discrimination.”

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