Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Egypt: A political blaze | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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What seems to be apparent in Egypt today is that there is a state of confrontation and division, or shall we say a fierce political tug-of-war, between the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) and the Muslim Brotherhood.

This state of affairs occurs just a few weeks before the start of the presidential election battle, a few days before deliberations on the drafting of a new constitution, and 93 days before power is scheduled to be handed over [to a civilian authority].

It became apparent that time and tide will wait for no man. One authority is leaving, merely waiting for the scheduled handover of power, whilst others authorities are on the rise anticipating this handover of power; however the crisis lies in the fact that there is no harmony between the force that is handing over power, and the one that is assuming it.

Such a critical and a delicate situation arises at a time when the Muslim Brotherhood’s “maestro” is holding the baton and preparing to conduct the political orchestra in Egypt, where he sometimes points his baton at SCAF, and then at other times at Dr. al-Awa or Dr. Abul-Futouh and finally at the Brotherhood’s Deputy Chairman Khairat al-Shater.

No one in Egypt knows who the Muslim Brotherhood’s Shura Council will choose as their presidential nominee. The Council will have to consider the following possibilities:

The first possibility is that the Brotherhood maintains its declared principle of not choosing any Brotherhood member as a presidential candidate, or supporting the candidacy of anybody with a military background. The most important thing would be for the candidate in question to have an Islamic background.

The second possibility would see the Brotherhood abandoning such conditions and formulating new rules.

The third possibility would see the Brotherhood deciding to nominate one of its active members and then fully backing his presidential candidacy.

Regardless of what the Brotherhood chooses and announces within the next week, its real problem is that it is now failing to satisfy anyone.

The divisions within the Brotherhood are increasing, especially on the part of the youths who are standing up for [former Brotherhood figure] Dr. Abdul-Monem Abul-Futouh who violated the Brotherhood’s orders and took the decision to run for president as an independent candidate.

In addition to this, resignations continue to flow from the Constitution drafting committee in protest against the majority’s dictatorship with regard to naming its members, a situation that has deeply embarrassed the Brotherhood.

Finally, there have been overt verbal confrontations between the Brotherhood and SCAF in the form of an exchange of inflammatory statements after the Brotherhood announced its intention to bring a vote of no-confidence against the Kamal Ganzouri government.

There has also been a torrent of jokes and mockery circulated via SMS text messages amongst members of Egyptian society about the political conduct of the Brotherhood as well as some candidates affiliated to this political trend. This demonstrates the Egyptian public’s negative reaction to Islamist presidential candidates, when this same group enjoys more than 72 percent of the parliament’s seats.

The battle continues unabated.