CAIRO: Field Marshal Abdel Fatah al-Sisi and Hamdeen Sabbahi separately called Friday for Egyptians to head to the polls on the last day before a mandated silence period that precedes the presidential elections slated for Monday and Tuesday.
” I call upon all Egyptians to go to the polls,” former army chief and presidential candidate Sisi said Friday in a televised statement, adding “only two days will shape the future of Egypt.”
“I am calling on youths to vote for whoever you want,” Sisi added.
Rival candidate Hamdeen Sabbahi promised to “ achieve the people’s dreams,” adding he is running the race not for acquiring power but to defend rights in a speech which was delivered among his supporters at Abdeen Square in Cairo.
“We will remain the guards of revolution, hope and dreams,” Sabbahi said, also pledging to combat corruption in the state apparatuses as well as poverty.
Sabbahi and Sisi also appeared as guests on separate TV programs.
Sabbahi on ONTV channel said the Muslim Brotherhood would have no place under his rule but added”not every Muslim Brotherhood member is a terrorist.”
The Brotherhood was listed as a terrorist organization by the interim government on Dec. 25, 2013,one day after a bombing targeted a security directorate in Delta, leaving 15 dead and more than 130 injured.
Sabbahi also said he would bear the responsibility if any Coptic Christian faced discrimination.
“I will not tolerate lack of efficiency and integrity in all officials around me,” Sisi said in a Friday interview with hosts from five networks, adding, “We will work on positive communication to unite efforts to achieve real development.”
Sisi stressed that the government serious work will push citizens to support it, adding intellectual leadership is vital for making a better future for Egypt.
“Our only choice is saving the country and protecting citizens,” Sisi said, and he defended the controversial protest law, which he said does not ban protests, but instead organizes them. Under the law, all political gatherings must first obtain official permission from security forces.
“I urge everybody to participate in the presidential elections, because the world is observing what is happening in Egypt,” he added.
On Wednesday the High Presidential Election Commission announced the results of expatriate voting that concluded last Monday: 94.5 percent votes went to former Minister of Defense Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, while his rival, leftist candidate Hamdeen Sabbahi, received 5.4 percent of votes.
The results of general voting are scheduled to be released June 5.