Stunner. Muslim Brotherhood "Reformer" to Run for President in Egypt

Abdel Moneim Abou El Fotouh

A “reformist” Muslim Brotherhood member announced his plans to run for president in Egypt.

Al Masry Al Youm reported:

After weeks of equivocal statements, reformist Muslim Brotherhood leader Abdel Moneim Abouel Fotouh has announced that he will run for president, in clear defiance of his organization’s decision not to field a presidential candidate, according to a Reuters report published Thursday.

The 60-year-old doctor affirmed that he would run as an independent in the election slated for December. “He speaks to the frame of reference of the Egyptian people, which is moderate conservatism. None of the other candidates are like that,”

Ahmed Osama, an official spokesperson for Abouel Fotouh’s campaign, told Al-Masry Al-Youm. Abouel Fotouh, working with at least ten close advisers, is immersed in hammering out the details of his platform, which will focus on education and development. In a month’s time, the platform will be unveiled, according to Osama.

In recent years, Abouel Fotouh has risen to the fore as a dovish voice within the 83-year-old Islamist organization. His liberal views on women, Copts and the role of Islam in politics set him at odds with the group’s hawkish leadership.

Then there’s this… A crime wave has Egyptians afraid to leave their neighborhood.

The New York Times reported:

The neighbors watched helplessly from behind locked gates as an exchange of gunfire rang out at the police station. Then about 80 prisoners burst through the station’s doors — some clad only in underwear, many brandishing guns, machetes, even a fire extinguisher — as the police fled.

“The police are afraid,” said Mohamed Ismail, 30, a witness. “I am afraid to leave my neighborhood.”

Three months after the ouster of Hosni Mubarak, a crime wave in Egypt has emerged as a threat to its promised transition to democracy. Businessmen, politicians and human rights activists say they fear that the mounting disorder — from sectarian strife to soccer riots — is hampering a desperately needed economic recovery or, worse, inviting a new authoritarian crackdown.

At least five attempted jailbreaks have been reported in Cairo in the past two weeks, at least three of them successful.

Other attempts take place “every day,” a senior Interior Ministry official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk publicly.