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Two Candidates Feature in Egypt's First-ever Presidential Debate
May 12, 2012

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Two of the candidates thought to be front-runners in Egypt's presidential race exchanged views in the country's first ever presidential debate.

Never in the modern history of the country had two candidates faced off in such a public way. But there were Amr Moussa and Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh, telling everyone watching and listening how the country would get better.

Moussa once had close ties to former President Hosni Mubarak, serving as his foreign minister at one point. He has since become known moreso for his stint as head of the Arab League.

Fotouh, a former member of the Muslim Brotherhood who thought he could count on the Brotherhood's support, has seen his candidacy eclipsed by the Brotherhood's reversal of a public promise to avoid the presidential race altogether. Still, he remains popular with many around the country, mainly for his public stints in jail for his political opposition to Mubarak.

A moderator asked questions that both candidates were required to answer, on health care, economic matters, and peace with Israel. Then, each candidate took a turn asking a question of the other. These were certainly opportunities for each candidate to point out differences between himself and his competitor, but Moussa especially found opportunities to do that during the moderator's question time as well.

Several other candidates are running for president. A recent poll found Moussa (right) and Fotouh (left) to be favored by the most respondents.

All will continue to campaign ahead of the May 23-24 elections, after which a runoff between the top two vote-getters, if no candidates gets a clear majority, will decide the winner.

The ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces has agreed to hand over power by July 1.



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