Aboul Foutouh’s campaign

This poster prays the candidate’s characteristics: “a son of the country”, “strong and honest”, “religious and open-minded”, “a visionary” , “a consensual person”, “a revolutionary fighter”.

So far, he really manages to gather liberals and islamists alike.

For example, the secular Egyptian former Google executive, Wael Ghonim, who became famous when he broke down during a live television interview, right after getting out of jail (where he had been put because he was a founder of the “We are all Khaled said” Facebook page, which called for a revolution on January 25 2011) during the 18-days uprising in 2011,— also endorsed Fotouh for president on Twitter.
He also received the support of the most influential Salafist organization, al-Dawa al-Salafiyya, and of its political arm, the Nour Party. The Salafis claim their decision is in retaliation for the Muslim Brotherhood decision to run a candidate, but some people fear Aboul Fotouh promised something in return for their help in getting voices from lower and working classes, including Hazem Abu Ismail supporters. Both sides deny a deal.
The moderate islamist Al Wasat Party and the former militant organization Al Gama’a Al Islamiya also endorsed him.
All together, these groups encompass a wide swathe of the Islamist vote.

Many senior political figures and advisers who surrounded El-Baradei have gone to help him, now that El-Baradei is out of the race, since he decided several months ago that he would not take part in elections he foresaw as widely as meaningless as they were during all the previous years of dictatorship.

Aboul Foutouh lists four main aspirations behind his candidacy – to promote freedom in Egypt, to promote the value of justice, to strengthen education and scientific research, and to open the doors to investment in Egypt from Arab countries and beyond. His programm boasts itself of reconciling all the different currents of the society and of refusing polarisation or division.
In a summary of his programm, he pledges to put an end to military trials for civilians.
He wants education to be 25% and health care to be 15% of the State spendings.
He wants a strong Egyptian army.
He wants a government with at least half of the people under forty or fifty.
He wants to reduce analphabetism.

This poster presents him as the “Voice of Moderation.”

As far as the sharia or Israel are concerned, he tries and pleases everyone. He explains his supports to the establishment of a sharia-based legal system in Egypt differently depending on the audience: moderates and seculars receive a nuanced answer while conservatives and radicals get an assertive promise of applying sharia. In one of his campaign ads (below), he says Egypt has a right to move forward in keeping with the religious principles of Shariah that both Muslims and Christians hold dear.

In this ad he also pledges to restore security in the first 100 days of his administration and to make Egypt one of the 20 most powerful countries in the world…

For Israel, he says that he personally does not recognize the State, but that Egypt is bound by international laws and treaties. He would not mind revising the Camp David treaty, but the peace agreement is not at stake.

More surprisingly, he seems to indulge in the Egyptian/Middle eastern fondness for conspiracy theories. Some articles report that he believes in a plot when he gets asked about the September 11 events.

In the below “puppet ad”, an intellectual-looking puppet in glasses tells a peasant to vote for the candidate who is honest and independent of Western influence, and whose door will always be open. The music comes from a classic Egyptian operetta celebrating village life in the early 1960s, “The Big Night,” by the colloquial poet and political cartoonist Salah Jaheen, which depicts all-night celebrations during Ramadan.


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