Egypt holds first TV presidential debate in its history

Arab World Materials 11 May 2012 04:42 (UTC +04:00)

Egypt held Thursday its first television debate between two Presidential contenders, who are currently topping the presidential opinion polls in the country, dpa reported.

The TV debate, the first of its kind in the Middle East, took place between candidates Abdel-Moneim Abul-Fotouh and Amr Moussa, on the private Egyptian channels ONTV and Dream TV.

The debate between the two contenders focused on issues such as the constitution, the authority of the president and their presidential political and economic programmes.

Abul-Fotouh, a practicing physician with vast experience in humanitarian work, is also an Islamist activist and a former leading figure of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Moussa, on the other hand, has served as a foreign minister during the rule of former Egyptian president Hosny Mubarak. He also held the office of secretary-general of the Arab League between 2001 to 2011 and is considered to be a liberal politician and an outspoken critic of the Islamist movements, which today control the political arena in Egypt.

There are 13 presidential candidates contesting the election race in Egypt.

According to Egypt's state television, the Presidential Elections Committee confirmed to Egypt's foreign ministry that voting for Egyptians living abroad will start Friday as schedule.

Egypt's foreign ministry said the voting for Egyptians abroad, which starts on May 11, will continue until May 17, while Egyptians living in Egypt are scheduled to vote on May 23-24.

An 18-day uprising in Egypt last year led by the young people of Egypt ousted Mubarak, thus ending his three decades in power.