CAIRO - With a program focused on economic revival and fighting corruption, Muslim Brotherhood's candidate for Egypt's presidency has unveiled a platform for achieving rennaissance in the pivotal Arab country.
The challenge for the renaissance project is to restore to the people of Egypt their proper status among the world's leading nations, Khairat Al-Shater told a press conference on Monday, April 9, cited by the Muslim Brotherhood's website.
Shater said a main pillar in his three-phase electoral platform is to rejuvenate the Egyptian economy.
Egypt's domestic and foreign debt amounts to one trillion and 140 billion Egyptian pounds ($190 billion), he said.
And in light of current deficit figures, we must rely on the revitalization of domestic and foreign investments.
Shater, who is a millionaire businessman, called for diversifying Egypt's economic resources to include industrial and agricultural projects.
"It's very important that, within the current gap we're facing now, to depend on local, Arab and foreign investments in development programs," Shater said.
"Some people with ideological agendas might say, 'Engineer Khairat supports privatization and private sector?' I say there is no other alternative for Egyptians except to focus sharply on financing a great deal of development projects outside the state budget."
Shater's candidacy has sparked uproar in Egypt after the Muslim Brotherhood reversed a former pledge not to field a candidate in Egypt's presidential elections.
The group, which was suppressed under deposed president Hosni Mubarak, already controls most seats in Egypt's first parliamentary election since Mubarak's fall.
Shater, who was jailed for more than 12 years under Mubarak, said he will work to energize and motivate and engage all Egyptian people in the building of modern Egypt.
It is not feasible for any single party or faction, however powerful, to build Egypt alone, he said, adding that his program will take years to bring to fruition.
The Brotherhood and the party and I personally, we all are devoted to the service of Egypt's renaissance project. And we are certainly not in conflict with anyone."
The Brotherhood candidate has criticized the nomination of ex-Mubarak officials in Egypt's election.
"We strongly reject the re-production of the former regime, as witnessed in the nomination of Omar Suleiman, he said, referring to Mubarak's former spy chief.
Suleiman, who Mubarak made vice president in the dying days of his three-decade rule, applied to join Egypt's presidential election on Sunday.
Former Egyptian premier Ahmed Shafiq is also running in the polls, set for May.
We believe that the candidacy of Shafiq (former Prime Minister) and Suleiman is an insult to the revolution," Shater said.
On Monday, the parliament passed a bill to ban former officials from running for presidency for ten years.
But experts say that the bill is symbolic.
"Only a decision from the administrative court would execute such a ban," Zakaria Abdel-Aziz, the former head of the lawyer's association, told CNN."Banning former regime members from practicing their political rights for five years or even 10 has been discussed thoroughly, but the law has not been reactivated and there must be proof that Omar Suleiman has been implicated in political corruption before he is banned from running."