Sameh Ashour, vice president of the Democratic Nasserist Party, said that he will run for the next presidential elections. In a statement to Al-Masry Al-Youm, he said that the Nasserist party is discussing the idea, stressing that he is thus far the party's most likely candidate.
Al-Masry Al-Youm reviewed with him the most critical political problems at hand, ranging from the ruling regime to the legal mechanisms by which Egypt can recover looted funds from abroad.
Al-Masry: Will the party run for presidential elections or not?
Al-Masry: Who is the party's candidate?
Ashour: Thus far, it is Sameh Ashour
Al-Masry: which government system is more suitable for the coming period in your opinion, the presidential or the parliamentary?
Ashour: The parliamentary system is the closest to Egyptian people because in that case, the country will be run by three powers: the head of state, the head of the government and the head of the parliament. The power will be divided between them and thus the system achieves the balance of power.
Al-Masry: How do you see the recent constitutional amendments?
Ashour: I have no objection to them per se, but I refuse curtailing the constitutional amendments. We are in a transitional period, so why don't we take the advantage of this period and develop a new constitution?
Interviewer: According to some, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces doesn't have enough time, and they need a peaceful transfer of authority to a civilian president.
Ashour: Saying that developing a new constitution takes a long time is not true. The appointment of a constitutional committee doesn't take more than one month, according to all the constitutions in the world. There is no dispute on the basic principles in all constitutions, whether parliamentary or presidential. The dispute would be on the terms of reference of the president, the parliament, and the council of ministers. But I believe that following the current path wastes more time. Making constitutional amendments, then parliamentary elections, then holding presidential elections after six months, then setting a committee to develop a new constitution, and then dissolving the parliament and electing another one according to the new constitution is a process that takes more time. It is also a social and financial burden.
Ashour: Yes, because this would cause a deadlock in the future. If we elected a new president according to the current constitution, and then we developed a new constitution that says the government system should be parliamentary, what would the president's situation be? There would be great confusion and conflicts. Moreover, the society is not yet ready for presidential elections in the complete absence of security. Current security powers can't protect the elections because it requires rehabilitation that will take at least six months. On the other hand, there are parties newly established and we have to give them a chance to organize themselves because if we carried out the parliament elections now, only the (Muslim) Brotherhood and businessmen will win the majority of seats in the parliament.
Al-Masry: Do you think it better that the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces runs the country for a period that doesn't exceed six months?
Ashour: I agree with this in one case, that the Supreme Council forms a new neutral government that includes opposition members, and to form a presidential council of neutral figures as well, and the army forces return to their barracks and remain only a guarantor of the entire process.
Al-Masry: Some people say that we will not be able to repatriate funds looted to countries that are not bound by international exchange agreements.
Ashour: Most countries consider money laundering an international crime and there is no state or judicial system in the world that protects the perpetrators of such crime. The problem only will be in the funds, shares, real estate , and properties registered by other names, but I think we can recover 90 percent of the looted money.