Presidential hopeful’s claim rivals are foreign-funded lacks evidence

Foreign countries are funding the campaigns of potential candidates for president, presidential hopeful Abdullah al-Ashal said Tuesday for the second time in two months.

“Ninety percent of the presidential hopefuls receive funds from abroad, and this is obvious in some of their campaigns,” Ashal, a former deputy foreign minister, said during a meeting with Egyptian expatriates in the Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh on Tuesday.

Ashal alleged that some presidential aspirants had opened headquarters across Egypt and were able to pay monthly salaries to thousands of campaign workers. He said he has filed a report with the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces to investigate the issue, and claimed that some candidates have paid LE50,000 to appear on satellite TV channels.

“This is dangerous and requires reviewing such satellite channels that work with private agendas, without taking Egypt’s interests into consideration,” he said.

Ashal did not provide any evidence to back up his claims.

Privately owned newspaper Youm7 reported similar statements by Ashal during a January meeting in Sharqiya, where he said that all other presidential hopefuls receive funding from foreign countries to support their presidential campaigns.

Hopefuls Mohamed Selim al-Awa and Amr Moussa have already denied allegations they receive donations from foreign backers.

Egypt's presidential elections are expected to take place in early June, although the date has not yet been announced. The registration process for would-be candidates is scheduled to begin next month.

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