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AP Interview: Egypt Islamist leader warns army chief against running in presidential election

  • a9918c10e08c7626430f6a7067009c4e.jpg

    Abdel-Moneim Aboul-Fotouh talks during interview with the Associated Press at his home in Cairo, Egypt, Monday, Nov. 18, 2013. Egypt’s reformist Islamist leader Aboul-Fotouh, who defected from the country’s Muslim Brotherhood group and joined mass protests against the now ousted Islamist president Mohammed Morsi, says he was a “failed” president whom people were able to overthrow but military coup and subsequent repression served the group well.(AP Photo/Amr Nabil) (The Associated Press)

  • b3c23522e0927626430f6a7067003358.jpg

    Abdel-Moneim Aboul-Fotouh speaks during an interview with Associated Press at his home in Cairo, Egypt, Monday, Nov. 18, 2013. Egypt’s reformist Islamist leader Aboul-Fotouh, who defected from the country’s Muslim Brotherhood group and joined mass protests against the now ousted Islamist president Mohammed Morsi, says he was a “failed” president whom people were able to overthrow but military coup and subsequent repression served the group well.(AP Photo/Amr Nabil) (The Associated Press)

  • badeb079e08e7626430f6a7067007333.jpg

    Abdel-Moneim Aboul-Fotouh speaks during an interview with Associated Press at his home in Cairo, Egypt, Monday, Nov. 18, 2013. Egypt’s reformist Islamist leader Aboul-Fotouh, who defected from the country’s Muslim Brotherhood group and joined mass protests against the now ousted Islamist president Mohammed Morsi, says he was a “failed” president whom people were able to overthrow but military coup and subsequent repression served the group well.(AP Photo/Amr Nabil) (The Associated Press)

  • 72f213a8e08f7626430f6a7067007230.jpg

    Abdel-Moneim Aboul-Fotouh speaks during an interview with Associated Press at his home in Cairo, Egypt, Monday, Nov. 18, 2013. Egypt’s reformist Islamist leader Aboul-Fotouh, who defected from the country’s Muslim Brotherhood group and joined mass protests against the now ousted Islamist president Mohammed Morsi, says he was a “failed” president whom people were able to overthrow but military coup and subsequent repression served the group well.(AP Photo/Amr Nabil) (The Associated Press)

A reformist Islamist leader who joined mass protests against Egypt's now-ousted Islamist president is warning the country's army chief not to run for the presidency.

Abdel-Moneim Abolfotoh, who defected from Mohammed Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood group in 2009 and later ran in 2012 presidential elections, told The Associated Press that a candidacy by Defense Minister Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi in next year's expected vote would mark the end of democracy in Egypt.

Abolfotoh also warned that the interim authorities' heavy crackdown on the Brotherhood is only making it stronger as an organization.

"The repression of any ideological group makes them stronger," he said, describing such action as "stupidity" that will backfire. Unlike most in Egypt, who think the Islamist movement is finished, Abolfotoh believes it will eventually return to politics.

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