Presidential candidate: I will call on millions to protest if elections are delayed

Islamist presidential candidate Mohamed Selim al-Awa, speaking at a seminar held at the Al-Sawy Culture Wheel on Sunday, said he would call on millions to demonstrate if the ruling military council in Egypt decides to postpone the parliamentary and presidential elections.

“Delaying the elections would result in widespread corruption," he said, adding that the best solution for what is happening in the country lies in holding the elections on time. “The military council must commit to the declared deadlines because the people want stability.”

Awa also said he is confident that the military council does not wish to rule the country. “The duty of the armed forces is to protect the homeland, not fight terrorism,” he said.

Awa's comments came after the military council's declaration on Sunday that it had expanded the scope of the existing Emergency Law, allowing it to crack down more freely on protests and censor political expression, a move that was interpreted by many as a prelude to postponing the elections under the pretext of an unstable security situation.

The military's announcement followed clashes between security forces and demonstrators in front of the Israeli Embassy, the Interior Ministry and the Giza Security Directorate on Friday night, which resulted in the deaths of three people and the injury of hundreds.

Awa denounced the forced closure of Al-Jazeera's office in Cairo and other satellite channels in Egypt on the pretext that they had not obtained licenses for broadcast.

"I hope this decision is immediately reversed and an apology announced,” he said.

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