In an interview with Voice of America, Abol Fotouh answers 10 questions in a mostly reasonable non-scary manner. Many doubt him for being a closeted Muslim Brotherhood candidate but our main concern with him, especially recently, is his vague answers when it comes to dealing with the Egyptian economy. It's either he has bad economic advisors or doesn't want to share specifics. For a good example, read his answer to the economy question from the VOA interview:
Abol Fotouh's answer is unacceptable! He and other candidates continue to get away with such empty rhetoric either due to the format of the interviews (no follow-up questions allowed), ignorance of the interviewers (it's easier and spicier to ask about sharia or Israel) or politicians think they need to "dumb it" down for us as we cannot handle/understand the truth.
Regardless of the reasons, all candidates have fuzzy economic plans that do not address issues such as controlling the fiscal deficit and inflation, managing the exchange rate, enhancing governance in the government, creating an enabling environment for the private sector, handling the inequality between rural and urban Egypt and attracting foreign direct investment given the Eurozone crisis. How the new president, and his team, deals with these issues will have a direct effect on job creation and poverty levels in the country.
Candidates should start being serious politicians and stop saying amateurish declarations that fit better under Mubarak such as "Egypt's economy will never collapse" without explaining the reasons for such unrealistic confidence especially when international markets have different views.
Image: Matt Mahurin