Singer Saad al-Soghayar says presidential candidacy was a joke

Popular singer Saad al-Soghayar said Wednesday his presidential candidacy was a joke and his only way to express his rejection of the conditions the Presidential Elections Commission has set for the post.

"It was a joke to protest conditions set by the commission for nomination. We all knew that a plasterer and a mortician applied for nomination and no one talked about it, so why was I attacked that way?" he asked during a talk show aired on privately owned Al-Hayat channel.

Soghayar had told supporters outside the Presidential Elections Commission on Tuesday that he would submit his official application to enter the race on Thursday after completing his nomination papers. Arguments broke out there between Soghayar’s supporters and citizens opposing his nomination, who said his candidacy downplays the importance of the office.

"I didn’t downplay the post as has been said, but it was the government that underestimated that senior post. I was provoked and decided to treat it as a joke," he said.

Soghayar also said he obtained his high school degree by cheating.

"I cannot do anything but singing. I can’t be a president," he said.

Asked about gathering the 30,000 citizen signatures from 15 different governorates required for nomination, Soghayar said, “It’s very easy. I collected 55,000 proxies via offices that I deal with in governorates.”

Soghayar also addressed the Muslim Brotherhood, saying, "Don’t eat all of the cake. This is not Islam."

Regarding which presidential hopeful he will support, Soghayar said he only knows former Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa, former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq and former intelligence chief Omar Suleiman.

"People say they are good. I want to vote for a political figure that I have seen on TV, someone who understands policy," he said.

Suleiman announced Thursday he would not run for president.

Translated from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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