''I'm expecting a second revolutionary wave'': Interview with Egyptian presidential candidate Khaled Ali

Analysis, posted 05.04.2012, from Egypt, in:
''I'm expecting a second revolutionary wave'': Interview with Egyptian presidential candidate Khaled Ali (Photo: dpa)

Khaled Ali, you are a successful lawyer and activist representing the concerns of workers, farmers and students. What motivated you to enter the world of politics and the presidential race?

Khaled Ali: I would like to bring the concerns that I have so far represented in the courts into the public arena, as a way of increasing awareness and broadening impact. As president, I could throw my weight behind those concerns on a political level and on a larger scale.

At 40, you're the youngest presidential candidate in these elections. Gamal Abdel Nasser became president of Egypt at the age of 36. Do you see yourself following in his footsteps?

Khaled Ali: Of course I admire Nasser for what he achieved for the populace, but I differ from him and his politics on several levels. I believe in a civil society, a civil government and social justice, issues that I am especially committed to. I want to establish a democratic nation.

Nasser's vision was one of a united Arab nation. This vision evaporated under Sadat. Do you plan to revive this nationalistic ideal?

Khaled Ali: We don't want to revive the vision of Abdel Nasser, but we aspire to an alliance with individual Arab states. In a larger context, we also aim to work with the African continent.

We want to convey the dream to all nations, make them realise that they can improve their situation and eliminate the poverty situation in which the continent and Arab states are currently trapped.

If you became the president of Egypt, which nations would be Egypt's key partners?

Khaled Ali: The countries of Africa and the Arab states. All those nations who seek independence from industrialised first-world nations. The world is bigger than Europe. We will appraise which nations best serve Egypt's interests. Relations with other countries will be based on common interests. We want to determine our future ourselves. We won't accept economic or political notions imposed upon us by the United States.

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Interview  by Susanne Schanda; Translated by Nina Coon

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