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Jan 28, 2005
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Egyptian Presidency Candidate: Mubarak is the Last of the Pharaohs; Israel is a Democracy

#514 | 03:29
Source: Dubai

The following are excerpts from an interview with Egyptian presidential candidate Muhammad Farid Hasanein. The interview was aired on Dubai TV on January 28, 2005:

Muhammad Farid Hasanein: Our goal is to bring down president [Mubarak], and it is not important whether [I am] elected president. I want Egypt to become a parliamentary republic, in which the president's position will be an honorary one. The people will elect its members of parliament, and the parties will form the government based on their relative size in the parliament. The people will elect the governors, and mayors. Egypt needs to put an end to the rule of the last of the pharaohs.

Interviewer:is it possible that the parliament will nominate a president for Egypt other than Hosni Mubarak in the near future?

Muhammad Farid Hasanein: The parliament is completely owned by President Mubarak. We hope that the masses will besiege the parliament - just like in the 1968 student demonstrations, in which I participated - and will force the parliament to fire the president and amend the constitution to make Egypt a parliamentary republic. They will continue to besiege the parliament for a week or two. The judges will complete the constitution within a few days – It is not difficult since the Egyptians have written extensively about the desired constitutions. Egypt will then become…

I am completely certain that the army and security forces will not kill the people, but will tell the president: "We cannot kill the entire people. You must step down."

Interviewer:Why did you stay in Israel for a while after the [Palestinian] elections?

Muhammad Farid Hasanein: I wanted to go, and I'm very happy that I did, because, first of all, I met the Palestinians, and I was present at elections the likes of which never took place in the Arab world. I am 65 years old…

Interviewer: Are you referring to their fairness?

Muhammad Farid Hasanein: Yes, their fairness. I am 65 years old, and I've only seen nothing but forged elections in Egypt. These elections, however, were conducted under Israeli occupation, yet they were clean and accurate. They were supervised by 800 observers from around the world. I witnessed a celebration. We can learn from the Palestinians about what democracy is and about the culture of queuing up for the polling stations.

Interviewer: What did you learn from the Israelis afterwards?

Muhammad Farid Hasanein: I was amazed to see the development in Israel. I was amazed to see the roads, the tunnels, the buildings, and above all, the democracy. We never liked to hear from the Europeans that Israel is a developed country, which made the desert bloom.

Interviewer: Can democracy co-exist with occupation?

Muhammad Farid Hasanein: There is democracy among the Jews. There are elections and there is a law. Sharon and his son are standing trial, and there was a [police] raid on Netanyahu's home, in search of evidence. Many Israelis came from Europe and brought with them respect for civil liberties and rights – what we call democracy.

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