Transcript of round 1: Mousa vs Fotouh Debate

in «Politics & Human Rights» by mostafa

Warning! This post is very old and may contain information or opinions that are no longer valid or embarrassing.

UPDATE: Second round is here

Warning: this was typed while the debate was being broadcasted live so there are bits missing and possible inaccuracies. Also lots of spelling and grammatical mistakes.

Link to live broadcast in arabic


Mona el Shazly: Egyptians never chose their president, who would rule. Follow us today so you can choose. With you Mona el Shazly and Yousri fouda

Y: Welcome to the first .. We present this to the martyrs and injured and those who raised their voice in front of a despot calling for bread, freedom and social justice.


.. a country that respects thought, dignity and importantly a nation that decides. This is why this first ever debate is .. we present two of the most important candidates. Each candidate will try to sell his ideas to you but you are the referee and you are the one who will select in the ballot box and decide the future of the country.

Y: Debate is two parts and i will join you in the second part to discuss

M: First part we will talk about the form of governance, taxes, chaos and how to deal with it.

Y: this is a new experience to us and doesn't give us big maneuvering but it provides the candidate the opportunity to explain his views and

M: those most restricted in this debate are yousri and mona. The freedom is for the candidates and you viewers. and that's just

Y: I will join in the second part but first we have to greet our guests, first mr amr moussa AM and doctor abo el fotoh AF.

[AF Bio]

[AM Bio]


24 questions in the debate 2 mins for each candidate to answer. After first part each candidate has the option to ask a question to the other, same thing at the end of second part. Countdown timer in front of each candidate. Each part will be moderated by one presenter.

[Poll results slideshow]

Millions are watching this first debate in Egypt. Millions are trying to reach a decision who is the most truthful in improving the countries situation ... the majority haven't decided who to chose .. live on air we will follow the descripancy between two candidates we will see who to believe using our hearts and minds .. two of the strongest candidates .. everyone beleives that they may run the country.

Welcome both of you

May be their minds are full of issues now but not on who will talk first because we had the draw

first questions what is the shape of the egyptian state as you see it

AF Besm ellah we have to stress that the blood of the martyrs, danial, effat, anas, khaled sa3eed .. and other martyrs we wouldn't have been here .. the country i think of is the country that it's people ran to remove the despot and corrupt and those who .. the country i believe in is a country that is democratic that uphelds the islamic sharia and traditions one that holds the persons head high and doesn't violate it's people dignity this is the country thtat millions went down to call for in the square .. bread freedom social justice

Same quesiton

AM Besm ellah .. we aim to raise a state were everyone will feel safe on his family and his employement from east to west north south that moves forward to answer the ctizen's demands and has it's regional role back and more importantly answers the

everyone looks forward for a new state .. away from past injustice on rules of consitution and clear standards and i will go back to article 2 of constitution which says the sharia is one of the sources of legislation .. no discrimination no discrimination no descrimnation

M: If you were a persident during the abbaseya clashes and blood was spilled and chaos took place and events were confusing what would you have done

AM: i didn't wait to become a president the abbaseya were very serious and were used by other for elections and i did lots of calls and i didn't wait and asked the police to enter and prevent the deterioration of the situation. i don't think that if serious leadership is there such level of chaos whouldn't have happened. what happened in the abbaseya shouldn't have happened specially we are on the way to transitiona and in the correct pat hand egypt will become a new country and we will purify the country from corruption and we don't .... I think when the new state strarts each instutitoins will be i.. things will be very different

M: same quesion

AF: I don't think if i were a president the abbaseya events would have happened .. we have to stress that peaceful demo is a right established by the jan25 and that the people's have been prevented from expressing in any peacful way and peacful demo is the right of people after jan25 and the role of the state is to protect them .. even if criminals are fighting the state has to interfere .. we have published a statement in support of those who died and we stress that interrupting traffic and attacking institutions shouldn't happen and the protection of citizens is the role of the state even if the protesters are rioters or thugs they don't stand and watch

M: when the beeps start is that there are 10 secs left

M:Q wehn essam sharaf ex. pm was asked about the protests and strikes he said we are facing a injured population .. the fa2awaya protests

AM: Country wasn't managing the situation in the way that brings comfort to people .. thus people feel .. the new state has to fix such problems, transperency with people and plans to raise living standards .. we have to make life easier for people .. and i agree with demands of striking workers and we have to engage with them in discussion we don't have to ignore but we need to be transparent and tell them what we really can do in 6 months or so .. i am sympathatic we will deal with it properly and transparently .. why thiey are happening peopel feel something is wrong ..

M: Same question strikes and protests are going to happen how you will manage

AF: I don't imagine that after free and fair elections without internal or external interference that protests or strikes iwll increase with such and elected president people will realise that after 30 years of failure all what we are in is becuase of this failure and not due to the revolution we have to speedily respond to people demands but we have to unite all of us to solve the probelms .. if egyptians find a president is truthful and realised their pains they will unite around him and help him solve their problemts

M: Rebuttles part .. each will ask direct question to counterpart or will comment on what the other said

AM: I'd liek to ask after he mentioned the protests and he visited and lead some of them he then said that the proetsts were inappropiate .. i think there is descripency here between your position and the usage of such protests for personal goals given there were blood

AF: your information is incorrect i did visit the firday protest in solidarity of those who were killed by bullets and were was the state to protect those peopel the protests were peacful .. security can prevent rioting without anyone gets hurt.. example in OWS .. i didn't change my position or support to protesters and my position has no descripancy .. seems that mr amr has in accurate infromattion .. till when we are going to label prosters as anarchists etc.. those who are not peaceful should be arrested without bloodshed

AF: question: I'd like to ask mr amr moussa as a member of the past regime .. that people revolted against can he become part of the solution? the figures of the past regime were silent on the crimes of the past regime from corruption, killing.. we need to understand your position

AM: you too are confused nad your information isn't clear the regime fell with it's men and i wasn't part of it .. i was a minister 10 years ago .. exaggeration and .. you defended the MB and not egyptians and not the egyptian people your opposition was about you and not egypt .. i was a foregn ministry who opposed and was different from the state policy and i was removed because of this .. we all have brought down the regime .. in the arab league i said the tunisian revoltuion isn't far away and i have spoken against injustice and my background is nationalistic and not to other group

M: in our past constitution we had 55 articles, 35 of them were about the president .. 85% of the articles were to him do

what are the sala7eyat that the president has to have and that which he has to five up

AM: The head of state is bound by the current constin. decleration .. 4 year only .. now no legislative or judicial powers for the president .. the 71 consititution had lots of power .. we are working on this .. it's over can't the president be the head of the police adn the judiciary thus the system will have to be deomcratic and this is how it is going to be and what we are in now .. the revoltuion will be translated into change adn results .. the president and all institutions will aim at that revolutionary change

AF: these powers depend on the political system .. after i rnominated myself i called for a mixed parli-presi system and i said the president has to have limited powers and i refused the parlimantery system only because our start is from a fresh fragile state and the new constitution and the direction between large parties such as fjp and wafd .. the president will deal with the foreing issues and tanseeq between all instutions .. The public prosection shouldn't be .. by the president because this corrupts the judiciary...

M: 90 years ago 30 people of the most important politicans and religious figures and wrote the 1923 consitttion later ... history of different constitution .. lately the 100 were appointed to write our new constitution but

What is the best formation for the constitution writing committtee

AM: the constitution is the father of all laws and will control all aspects of the society and thus all the society has to be involved with balanced participation .. worker, mother, farmer, copts, youth and different professionals thus the committee is very important and the fomration whihc was forced upon people by one group was refused by people and i want total participation and equal participation so that all issues are discussed example how farmer rights and ownership rights wihtout bias towards any group

M: What is the best formation for the constitution writing committtee

AF: I called for forming the committee from outside the parlimant totally so they parliament is free to do its job this is a revolution and they have to not waste time .. the 100 persons should reflect all the geographical representaion of egypt including members of the civil society to agree on .. the agreement should reflect all the political spectrum and the second part for this agreement to happen is that it should take time for discussions so that the constitution is agreed upon by everyone and this document has to reflect people's choice and prevents the return of a pharoh

M: your view to the relationship between relgiont and state and religious groups

AM: The 2nd article of consittution which is now agreed upon that the general concepts of the sharia are a source of legislation and that .. this is the relationship between the state and religion and that it.. the day to day aspects of lives should address the needs of people and example in education the education has to be advanced .. but if religion enters in our daily lives and earthly issues .. our culture respects religion and both christians and muslims are religious

M: your view to the relationship between relgiont and state and citizenship and religious groups

AF: no contradictions between religioun and citizenship .. the islamic sharia looks for the benefit for people and the concepts of the great sharia re .. we hope article number 2 stays in the constitutino .. i saw some media attacks against the sharia and trying to picture the sharia as a freedom restricting .. preventing freedome of thought but the sharia .. as prophet said .... this is the sharia in it's beauty etc..

M: rebuttal part

AM: we listened to a speech that is detailed about sharia.. you in a previous speech with mona you said muslims can convert to christianity and the opposite .. is this still your position?

AF: I didn't say this exactly .. his expression wasn't very accurate .. i said that the in sharia the punishment for apostasy it's about fighting religion and against general peace .. no interference in the freedom of belief. we have to be direct and in our understanding of the islam is to the azhar and i am not a sheikh but i am expressing my understanding

AF: mr amr mousa said the general principles of the sharia when the consitution says THE principles so what do you mean? I represented egypt in many orgnaistions locally and foreign and my attack against the regime was as me as an egyptian and not only MB

AM: there is nothing wrong in defending an specific organisation .. we don't have records when i was in the arab league that you were against the regime in anyway and i haven't seen your opposition you were in humanitarian work .. opposition is a political thing and not what you have said. you were a political opposition in the framework of the muslim brotherhood and not in the entire national sense. i was out of the foreign ministry because of my opposition with the state and what they have practiced in injustice is unnacceptable and i am in solidarity with the people



M: question to AM what is the optimal position for the military institution in the next 5 years

AM: military instutition you mean the armed forces .. the armed forces has a known role .. when the transition takes place in a presidential system .. the armed forces itself wants to retrain its forces .. we have to respect the Armed forces and seperate it from the insults .. the budget should be discussed in the national security committee that will include the president, prime ministr and key ministres and key mps they will discuss the budget in a closed way becuase of national security but ruling is something and armed forces role is something else

AF: the armed forces of egypt is a national army that people chanted people and army are one hand this is example of such special relationshipt .. the mismanagement in the past few months have nothign to do with people's respect to the army .. i suggest we keep those articles of 1971 constitution i don' think there is a point in changing these articles .. no instutittion should be above the law .. the budge of the army is a president's role and we look forward that our army is the strongest in the region .. a country with strong education health care and army

M: What is the minimium wage and how you will calculate

AM: I don't want to discuss the numbers itself, there is a ruling for that the minimum wage should allow for a comfortable living and there should be also a maximum wage .. there are 6 million employee are the wages related to the prices these are issues we have to discuss the core of the wage should be clear and that incinteves shouldn't be the bulk of the wage and this isn't reflected in retirement. i see this also in social insurance and this is a topic that needs lots of improvements in both public nad private sector

M: What is the minimium wage and how you will calculate it

AF: I will respect the admin court decision of a 1200 EGP min wage and we respect that for both public and private sector as for the maximum wage has to be in the public sector only 20-30 times the min wage. We have to prioritise min wage for the unemployed youth and we have to put them on a database, women who are heading families and those who are retired. Taxes...

M. Which kind of tax policies that you will apply

AM: I am with tasa3ody taxes in that the poor isn't taxed and the rich is taxed up to 28% .. the system has to be a strong one that will bring resources to the country and i see it is important to discuss the real estate taxes .. so we need also a capital tax .. the tax system has to bring resources and will encourage investors .. the current state is worrying

AF: the tax system has to be restructured to bring more resources uup to 25% instead of 15% this means we need to put regulations regarding real estate, stock exchange (higher tax for shorter transactions), taxes on cigarettes, removing subsidy on factories that sell by the intenational prices. To reach a free health care and education system we need to raise taxes, the special funds need to be monitored and regulated.

AM: Question to AF: Dr, AF mentioned subsidies but that's a different topic .. subsidies currently are wasting so much so my question is how are you going to deal wit this by keeping subsidies for the poor .. taxes are different from subsidies do you see.

AF: 170 billion pounds subsidy for food and another subsidy for energy .. i am against subsidies for high octane petrol .. facotries shouldn't benefit from subsidies .. the entertainmnet and hotels should not receive subsidised energy .. this will provide us with 30 - 40 billion for health and education .. there are also lots of other resources but these are only examples.

AF: Question to AM: our stance on subsidies is similar .. i want to ask on the general principles of the sharia he didn't ask in the last part .. what is his understanding

AM: our understanding as egyptians the general principles of the sharia is about the tolerance and positive spirit, these expressions are about the moral framework of islam in serving hte people and the nation .. you are not discussing the principles but the rulings of the sharia and there is a difference here .. dr AF has different languages and are you talking about the special rulings and general considerations of the sharia.. now you represent the salfi, the islamic centrists .. please explain to us we don't understand where you are.

M: no egyptian doesn't think of the his health and his children's health. what is your ..

AM: Possible to make fundemantal change in health care .. we had a doctor in our village a health centre that provided health care, vaccination and then there are higher hospitals in the centres and cities .. these village health centers are now closed .. it's very dangerous now the cleanliness of water and sanitation .. we have to disucss the health insurance .. women old women retired aren't covered. 48% aren't covered by health insurance i want to see everyone covered.

M: if it's impossilbe to fix health care in 4 years, tell us about yoru plans

AF: not true that it's impossible to fix helath care .. we have in our program a solution .. health care is a right for each individual .. egyptian can't help his country wihotu proper health care .. we will support the docotrs cadre of pay, improve the pharmceutical process, the equipments in hosipital, training doctors.. citizen will find proper sanitation, water and environment .. education and healht care are the basis of .. the poor can't find healht care and are left to die

M: Egypt didn't have a vice president .. what is the features of the state persons you are going to depend on

AM: The constitutinoal decleration says 60 days for president to appoint a vice president and that's what i am going to stick to .. I have explained in my program that we have to depend on experts and not the people we thing are just honest because we have suffered from this in the past. copts, experts and young people have a role in supporting the president in his decision making .. the most important thing is expertise .. participation will be there

AF: we have to describe the state that will respect the expertise and people of knowledge not one that encourages cronyism and corruption .. the president has to have his team who he depends on and works with .. the hororable people were prevented from being in the state .. we have to empower the youth my vice president will be a youth .. can't imagine that the POTUS is 42 years old and here wer are still with old people

M: the budget for presidential campaigns is regulated .. how much did you spend till now and what are you sources?

AM: first we respect the law. Which means we don't get donations from outside the country .. till now i have spent from my money and my families .. till now we have spent till 3 million poudns .. the 10 million stated by the law is restrictive .. billboards and ads are veyr expensive .. we respect the law and we will continue to respect it .. i see the campaigns are very expensive and we feel the weight of this process and the financial burden. I want to say AF that we want Egypt is safe and not just some egyptians.

AF: we didn't receive money from abroad, and if it was offered we would have refused. Our campaing depends on the efforts of the youth that works all over the country in a decentralised fashion, they pay from their own pockets. We signed a contract for 4 million billboards and 3 for printed ads .. we haven't paid the whole sum yet .. we respect the law and don't forget that the day of elections has it's own expenses. we call on SCAF to combat political money that may corrupt the process

AM: Tell me what is the honorable political forces .. what does this mean in respect to your background? at the same time we have to be clear that egyptians who were corrupt has no role any more but experts shouldn't be barred anyway.. there are chaos and pointing fingers

AF: the old regime shunned those who didn't work with them .. i was jailed 3 times by mubarak and his cronies .. they are the ones who supported this regime .. they didn't work in a honorable way .. those who are honorable are islmaists, liberals and all political forces that stood against the corruption of the part regime. those who have blood on their hands and are corrupt should be brought to justice. i am against settling scores but i am not going to forgive the crimes against people

M: [rules]

AF: I want to ask AM on his campaing and the money spent and what the media have said about the citizen endorsements and money spent on that too. The amount of outdoor ads is huge and i can't tell if that's within the limits but i'd like to hear his response

AM: we also heard that the citizen endorsements for doctor AF were also done with money, the country is full of rumors and smear campaigns. we have an army of volutnteers who cover their own costs and they work across the country .. i see AF ads are double mine we have to ask him were did he get his money .. his ads are just second to sheikh abo ismail .. if there are accusations there are lots of rumors in the country dr AF has to respond to accusations of foreign support.

M: there will be time in the end to respond. now time for an open quesiton for each candidate on any topic

AM: Dr AF you were MB member and you have baye3t the head of the organisation .. will this mean there will be someone above you?

AF: AM doesn't read the news i have quite the MB as for the swearing allegiance to the MB when i quitted this is no longer an issue .. i am a president and a servant for all egyptians i am succesful in working against the polarisation of the society, salafi, centrist islamist and youth groups and liberals are behind me .. my campaign has all the spectrums of egyptians

AF: Mr AM said in 2010 his support for hosny mubarak did he want egypt to continue its deterioration during that regime when he said he was against such regime? I don't understand he was against this regime or with it?

AM: the support of the people in his campaing is because he uses dual language he is salafi with salafis and is a liberal with liberals .. the deal with salafis isn't known by liberals and vice versa .. as for my the allegations of support for mubarak the question was about the inheritence of power ... the questions was do you want mubarak or his son and i said mubarak because i didn't want another 30 years of such rule .. this was the lesser of both evil .. you have to verify the sources and my position wasn't as how AF described it.

M: Time's up .. 30 mintues break .. Youssri will take over the second round.

The second round is here


  • Kikinelson

    Posted on - 🔗

    the transcription is incomplete and inaccurate, so not really very helpful

    • moftasa

      Posted on - 🔗

      Yes, it isn't complete because I had to translate and type while it was being broadcasted live. I had to miss some things.

  • rayelle

    Posted on - 🔗

    thnx, Mostafa -

    you still got your fingers?? did they fly off ??