Egyptian pop singer Saad al-Soghayar announced his intention to run in the upcoming presidential election scheduled for late May 2012.
In a parade of his supporters and a music band, pop singer Soghayar submitted Tuesday the documents required for becoming an official presidential candidate and said he managed to get 55,000 signatures, that is 25,000 more than what is required by the Higher Elections Committee.
“My candidacy is not April’s Fool prank like several media outlets have claimed,” Soghayar told Al Arabiya in reference to reports that he intended the matter to be a joke.
Soghayar invited the Egyptian people to attend a party in which one of the country’s most famous belly dancers ─ and his co-star in several movies ─ will perform Thursday in the Cairo Stadium.
“I want to prove to people that they will live in luxury in the era of President Saad al-Soghayar.”
Although he has chosen to contest, Soghayar criticized the Higher Elections Committee for not setting strict eligibility rules for the presidency, instead of making it possible for a lot of people who are not qualified.
“That is why people thought I was joking when I said I would run. Everybody is now running.”
Soghayar added that if he wins the elections, he will provide each Egyptian with an apartment and a licensed rickshaw.
“I will also offer free medical care for everyone.”
In response to accusations that he is not well-educated, Soghayar said it is not necessary for a president to be a university graduate or know foreign languages.
“I will make sure a translator accompanies me on my trips abroad.”
Soghayar noted that he does not have to be qualified to become president in order to win and cited the example of his singing career.
“I was not qualified to be a singer anyway, but I am a famous one now, so there’s no rule.”
Soghayar stressed that he will not retire as a singer if he becomes president.
“I will also not move from the working class neighborhood where I live and will remain modest,” he concluded.
(Translated from Arabic by Sonia Farid)