Skip to main content

Egypt's el-Sisi vows to finish off the Muslim Brotherhood if elected

From Hamdi Alkhshali, CNN
May 6, 2014 -- Updated 2120 GMT (0520 HKT)
  • In a TV interview, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi says it was his duty to run for President
  • He vows to finish off the Muslim Brotherhood if elected
  • Egyptians will head to the polls to pick a new President later this month

(CNN) -- Egypt's former military chief doesn't mince words when he describes what would happen if he wins this month's presidential vote.

In a taped interview broadcast on Egyptian satellite networks Monday, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi vowed to finish off the Muslim Brotherhood if he's elected, arguing that's what his country's people want.

And he said he had no choice but to run for President.

"Due to the challenges facing Egypt and the targeting of Egypt from inside and outside of the country ... any responsible patriot has a duty toward his country and its future, and has the opportunity to come forward to protect this country, and this people, and their future," el-Sisi said.

The second part of the interview is due to air Tuesday.

Can El-Sisi can bring Egypt stability?
'Mission impossible': Challenging el-Sisi
El-Sisi to run for president in Egypt
Egypt court sentences hundreds to death

El-Sisi deposed Egypt's first freely elected leader, President Mohamed Morsy of the Muslim Brotherhood, last year following mass protests against Morsy's rule.

The officer is popular among Egyptians who supported the army's decision to remove Morsy from power. His supporters see him as the kind of strongman needed to end the turmoil dogging Egypt since a popular uprising ended Hosni Mubarak's three decades of one-man rule in 2011.

In Monday's interview, he said there had been two attempts to assassinate him, but that didn't stop him from wanting to run for President.

"I believe in fate," he said. "I am not afraid."

He appeared relaxed in the interview, talking about his children and saying his wife had urged him to seek election.

El-Sisi resigned from his military post in March to run for the presidency.

He'll face just one challenger at the polls, Hamdeen Sabahi, who also had harsh words for the Muslim Brotherhood when he spoke to CNN last month, accusing the group of being "responsible for bloodshed and sponsoring terrorism in Egypt."

But Sabahi said he would scrap a controversial law enacted last fall and backed by el-Sisi, which places severe restrictions on demonstration in Egypt.

"I will issue a law that protects and regulates, not prevents, demonstration. And I will release all the innocent people who were convicted according to this unconstitutional law, and particularly college students in Egypt who were angry because of the excessive force used by the police," he said.

In Monday's interview, broadcast on the Egyptian satellite channels CBC and ONTV, el-Sisi defended the protest law, saying that "irresponsible" demonstrations threaten the state.

Egyptians are scheduled to head to the polls to vote for President on May 26 and 27. Parliamentary elections will be held soon afterward, but dates have not yet been determined, Egypt's state-run Ahram Online reported Monday.

READ: Opinion: For many Egyptians, there is no alternative but el-Sisi

READ: Egypt's El-Sisi to resign, paving way for presidential bid

Editors' Note: This article has been edited to remove plagiarized content after CNN discovered multiple instances of plagiarism by Marie-Louise Gumuchian, a former CNN news editor.

CNN's Mohammed Tawfeeq, Saad Abedine and Marie-Louise Gumuchian contributed to this report.

Part of complete coverage on
Visit CNN Arabic for full election news and updates in Arabic.
May 26, 2014 -- Updated 1650 GMT (0050 HKT)
CNN's Reza Sayah explains Egypt's presidential election.
May 26, 2014 -- Updated 1655 GMT (0055 HKT)
Minute changes by Egypt's next leader may not be sufficient to bring genuine stability, writes H.A. Hellyer.
May 23, 2014 -- Updated 0359 GMT (1159 HKT)
Supporters of Egyptian leftist presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabbahi (portrait) attend a campaign meeting in Cairo.
Both presidential candidates have made lofty promises. But has either offered specifics on how the economy?
June 8, 2014 -- Updated 0806 GMT (1606 HKT)
CNN's Reza Sayah profiles the leading contender in Egypt's presidential election, ex army chief Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.
May 23, 2014 -- Updated 0809 GMT (1609 HKT)
Hamdeen Sabahi is considered a heavy underdog in the race for Egypt's presidency, but he's sure he's going to win.
May 21, 2014 -- Updated 2208 GMT (0608 HKT)
A court in Cairo sentences ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to three years in prison for embezzlement.
May 22, 2014 -- Updated 1722 GMT (0122 HKT)
An Egyptian man waits for tourists to take them on camel rides at the Giza pyramids on the outskirts of Cairo on February 14, 2011.
Instead of focusing on antiquities, Egypt's new "We miss you" video features dancers, malls and ritzy hotels.
May 8, 2014 -- Updated 1514 GMT (2314 HKT)
Former Arab League head Amre Moussa says presidential favorite Abdel Fattah el-Sisi is right to stand up to "terrorists."
May 8, 2014 -- Updated 1250 GMT (2050 HKT)
Can music heal the rift of revolution and conflict in Egypt? CNN's Reza Sayah meets the Egyptian band trying.
May 6, 2014 -- Updated 2120 GMT (0520 HKT)
Egypt's former military chief doesn't mince words when he describes what would happen if he wins the presidency.
April 10, 2014 -- Updated 0937 GMT (1737 HKT)
Are threats of sexual violence an everyday reality for women in Cairo?
March 24, 2014 -- Updated 1641 GMT (0041 HKT)
Interim Egyptian President Adly Mansour sends letter to the family of jailed Al Jazeera journalist Mohamed Fahmy.
March 9, 2014 -- Updated 1630 GMT (0030 HKT)
CNN's Sara Sidner talks about stepping in for Al Jazeera reporters since they have been barred from working in Egypt.
March 15, 2014 -- Updated 1134 GMT (1934 HKT)
How are the Arab Spring nations faring? What successes can they boast and what challenges await?