CAIRO: Interim President Adly Mansour stated during a three-hour television interview with the CBC channel Sunday night that “there will be real competition” during the upcoming presidential race, despite recent announcements by candidates who are withdrawing their bids for president.
Mansour was the former president of the Supreme Constitutional Court and was named the interim president on July 3, 2013, following the military ouster of former President Mohamed Morsi.
Since then, Mansour has been in charge of the transitional period, which is nearing its end with the presidential elections expected in June.
In an interview Sunday regarding the past eight months of his rule, the interim president discussed with the CBC a number of issues facing Egypt in the realms of politics, security and economics.
“At the beginning of the transitional phase, we had hopes and ideas. Gradually, we progressed toward more concrete achievements of the roadmap, beginning with the constitution, which was passed on Jan. 18,” Mansour stated during the interview.
“A security solution is not the only one and cannot be the only alternative to enhance this country, or to solve political matters. That must be solved through dialogue,” he added.
Regarding his meeting with the National Defense Council on Saturday following the killing of six soldiers in an armed attack in Qalyubia, Mansour said it was a session to assess the security situation, from which he concluded that “it was possible to avoid some of the recent attacks on security officials.”
“If the situation requires exceptional measures, there will be emergency procedures,” Mansour added, without specifying the nature of such actions.
The president also provided a detailed justification during the interview for issuing a controversial law that granted immunity to the decisions of the Supreme Electoral Committee (SEC).
“I did not make the decision as president of the state, or as a judge. I made it as a citizen, as I am convinced that Egypt cannot remain waiting for another six months, and state funds cannot afford millions of pounds to be further wasted,” Mansour said.
The cost of the presidential elections is estimated at more than six million EGP. Mansour said that judicial procedures can take a long time and appeals against the SEC’s decisions “could be infinite,” which pushed him to ban appeals on the SEC’s decisions before judicial and administrative institutions.
Another prominent debate that the interim president addressed was the system that will be adopted for parliamentary elections. There are three available options, a list-candidacy system, an individual candidacy, or both.
Stating simply that parliamentary elections must be underway before mid-July according to the roadmap timeframe, Mansour said he is declining responsibility for the law that will dictate the elections, which will fall under the jurisdiction of the legislative department of the Cabinet.
Mansour also admitted during the interview that the former government headed by Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawy had become inefficient and was failing to grasp the people’s demands, despite real efforts.
“Any president who does not know what is happening in the street will immediately fail,” he said. “The Egyptian people of today will not provide easy compromise anymore.”