Military spox. denies that projects are politically motivated
Former defence minister Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi - YOUM7

CAIRO: The Military spokesperson denied that the recent projects announced by the Armed Forces have anything to do with political aspirations, following a report from Al-Masry Al-Youm that alleged that the Military Engineering Authority will execute the projects in Abdel Fatah al-Sisi’s electoral program.

The Military Engineering Authority (MEA) aims to contribute to the overall development scheme for the state, with no connection to politics, spokesperson Ahmed Ali said in a Thursday statement.

Al-Marsy al-Youm newspaper reported in its Thursday copy that MEA would be tasked with the execution of major projects included in Minister of Defense Abdel Fatah al-Sisi’s electoral program.

Attributing the news to anonymous sources, the newspaper said MEA’s financial and labor resources would help it implement its national projects in the coming period.  Compulsory conscription for males in the most populous country in the Arab world provides the military with almost free manpower.

“Recently, a number of media outlets have been presenting false news and information based on fictitious assumptions and speculation about the military and its leaders,” Ali said.

In February, the editor-in-chief of the Kuwaiti newspaper al-Seyassah stated that Sisi informed him he would run for president, but Ali denied this, saying that the news was paraphrased by the newspaper, and does not reflect direct statements by the Defense Minister.”

Ali has repeatedly said that the Armed Forces does not interfere in Sisi’s presidential bid, because it is a personal matter on which he would decide for himself and that he would announce his decision in a timely fashion.

Further, Sisi has not yet announced his candidacy, and as such does not have an electoral program. However, he announced a joint housing campaign with Emirati company ArabTec on March 12, which is set to provide one million housing units for people with low-incomes.

Furthermore, MEA executed 168 projects worth billions of pounds in 2013, such as the establishment of Sohag International Airport and the Development of Cairo-Suez and Cairo-Ismailia highways, according to state-run MENA in October 2013.

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