Egyptian ex-military chief and presidential candidate Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi has said there will be no future for the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood if he wins in the upcoming presidential elections, media reported Tuesday.
The Islamist movement, from which ousted president Mohamed Morsi hailed, is currently blacklisted by the interim leadership as "a terrorist organisation". Morsi was removed by Sisi's army last July in response to mass protests against his one-year rule.
"It is the Egyptian people who ended the Muslim Brotherhood," Xinhua quoted Sisi as saying.
The 59-year-old Sisi is expected to win in the May 26-27 presidential poll, in which leftist Hamdeen Sabahi will be his sole opponent.
Sisi is enjoying an increasing popularity as some Egyptian people consider him as "a saviour" and "a national hero" due to the army's actions against Islamist supporters.
He resigned from the military in late March to run for the presidential election.
Sisi denied that he ever thought about the presidential post before removing Morsi July 3 last year.
"I would not respect myself if ousting Morsi was a plan that I made to seize power in Egypt," Sisi commented.
Some youth activists, who supported Sisi while removing Morsi, have recently been sentenced to three years in prison for protesting the new protest law. The activities of the youth movement have also been banned by a recent court order.
Sisi revealed that two assassination attempts targeted him since Morsi's removal, for which Islamist loyalists claimed a "military coup".
He said that a leading Brotherhood figure threatened him a week before Morsi's ouster, saying that the group would be supported by militants from Syria, Libya and Afghanistan if the army removed Morsi.