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Islamist Abul-Fotouh sits out Egypt’s election

The decision by Abdel-Mon’eim Abul-Fotouh not to run for president leaves open who, if anyone, will pick up the Islamist mantle in the election.
Presidential candidate Abdel Moneim Abol Fotouh (C) visits people outside a polling station during the presidential elections in Cairo May 23, 2012. Egyptians relished their first free leadership vote on Wednesday, with Islamists pitted against secular figures in a contest unthinkable before a popular revolt swept President Hosni Mubarak from power 15 months ago. REUTERS/Suhaib Salem (EGYPT - Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS) - RTR32INP

For former presidential candidate, Abdel-Mon’eim Abul-Fotouh, perhaps not running for president again was not a surprising decision. In an interview with the Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram last Friday, he said that he wouldn’t engage in "political cosmetics," a clear indication of how he viewed the current crisis in Egypt. He reaffirmed his opinion on Sunday by saying, “I won’t take part in deceiving people into believing we have a democratic path when we don’t.” Abul-Fotouh’s assessment is an accurate reflection of the current political atmosphere in Egypt, however, his decision is also an indirect admission that he stands no chance of winning the backing of Egyptian Islamists, and non-Islamists beyond his core supporters in Egypt Strong Party. Unlike in 2012, in which some Salafists and the young Muslim Brotherhood backed Abul-Fotouh, this scenario is no longer possible. In fact, even in a free and fair election, the chance of Abul-Fotouh garnering more votes is very slim.

Burning the last bridge with the Brotherhood and other Islamists

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