CAIRO, May 11 (UPI) -- Political forces in Egypt are trying to drag the country back to the days of the Mubarak era, the Muslim Brotherhood's presidential candidate said.
Campaigning is under way in Egypt for the first presidential election since a popular uprising in early 2011 forced longtime President Hosni Mubarak from power.
Mohamed Morsi, the candidate from the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party, said during a campaign event Friday the spirit of the revolution must guide the country forward.
"Today, the corrupt regime, overthrown by the people in the January 25 revolution, still endeavors to drag Egypt back to darker older days, through its diehard holdovers, chums and cronies," he said, according statements on the Muslim Brotherhood's Web site. "But that they will not succeed."
Morsi is among the 13 candidates competing in a presidential contest set for a first round of voting later this month.
Egyptians viewed their first televised presidential debate between former Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa and former Muslim Brotherhood official Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh. Both men are among the front-runners in the presidential field.
Moussa attacked Fotouh for his ties to the Islamic political group while the former Brotherhood leader, running as an independent, challenged Moussa's ties to the Mubarak government, Egyptian news service al-Ahram reports.
The first round of voting begins May 23. The victor is expected to take office by July.