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MB SecGen calls on Egypt to unite behind Mursi | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Cairo, Asharq Al-Awsat – Speaking exclusively to Asharq Al-Awsat, Secretary-General of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood [MB], Dr. Mahmoud Hussein, stressed that the only available solution to save the Egyptian revolution is to rally behind MB presidential candidate Mohamed Mursi, adding that with the looming threat to Egypt’s revolution, now is not the time to talk about political assurances. Hussein also rejected the proposal put forward by some Egyptian political forces regarding the formation of a civilian presidential council to take power from the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces [SCAF], saying this is an unpractical solution that SCAF will no doubt reject.

The Egyptian political scene was set ablaze on Saturday despite the fact that former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak and former Interior Minister Habib al-Adly were sentenced to life imprisonment. The controversy focused on the acquittal of a number of senior Interior Ministry officials, including on charges of issuing orders to kill Egypt’s revolutionaries. In light of the uncertain political scene in Egypt, political forces have suggested the formation of a Presidential Council to take over from SCAF, its tasks would include the drafting of a new constitution as well as arranging new presidential elections to replace the forthcoming presidential run-off vote that is scheduled to take place later this month between MB candidate Mohamed Mursi and former prime minister Ahmed Shafiq.

However MB Secretary-General Dr. Mahmoud Hussein informed Asharq Al-Awsat that this idea is unrealistic, stressing that “forming a presidential council is a proposal that cannot be implemented on the ground because SCAF will only hand over the reins of power to an elected president” adding “they will not pay any attention to the calls made in Egypt’s squares and streets. Any challenge to SCAF must be realistic and practical.” Hussein also asserted that “we are in the midst of a democratic election, on the verge of the presidential run-off vote, and all efforts should be focused on this.”

The MB Secretary-General viewed this presidential election run-off as being between the former National Democratic Party and its symbols – represented by former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq – and the entire Egyptian people, as represented by Freedom and Justice Party candidate Mohamed Mursi. He told Asharq Al-Awsat that “the trial verdict and the forthcoming elections has placed us face to face with a scene that is dominated by the [former] head of the regime, the remnants of the National Democratic Party, and its corrupt symbols, assisted by the media that are working to serve their interests.” Hussein added “the officials in Tora [prison] are running the scene in one way or another and the money that has been stolen from the Egyptian people continues to be used to buy votes.”

The MB Secretary-General said that no single political force is capable of confronting this crisis alone, adding that all political, national and revolutionary forces should back MB candidate Mohamed Mursi in the forthcoming presidential run-off vote, particularly in light of the fact that his opposing candidate, General Shafiq, was the last prime minister of the Mubarak era.

Dr. Mahmoud Hussein told Asharq Al-Awsat that “the revolution is at a crossroad, and this is something that applies to all the political forces, including the MB. We have two options: either we join together to preserve the revolution, even if there are differences between us…or we all lose the revolution.” Hussein stressed that Egypt’s political and revolutionary forces, not to mention the Egyptian people, are approaching an impasse and this necessitates unity in the forthcoming period.

The Secretary-General of Egypt’s MB claimed that “the only realistic solution to save the revolution is to support Dr. Mohamed Mursi, the candidate of the MB and the revolution, in the forthcoming presidential run-off” adding “now is not the time to talk about assurances because we are facing a looming threat that will confront us in a serious manner, with regards to its media, political and economic forces. Therefore, we must unify our efforts to get rid of this candidate of the former regime [Shafiq], and then reach mutual understanding between our political forces, because there are areas where we can come to agreement.”

One week following the announcement of the initial presidential election results, the Freedom and Justice party has failed to win broad-backing from other political forces for their presidential candidate Mohamed Mursi. The MB Secretary-General informed Asharq Al-Awsat that “this may be due to their views on the performance of the MB, some of these views may be correct, whilst others might be wrong or mistaken, or due to these political forces being aware of certain details.” However he stressed that “the gravest threat is that some people are still doubtful about [the MB’s] intentions, and I do not where this scepticism will lead us.”

Hussein accused the media of raising doubts over Mursi’s presidential candidacy, claiming that “there is a general agreement to support Mursi, but the media is casting doubt about this. The MB has announced, since the beginning, that it intends to form a coalition government, and that it is committed to a civil state”

Despite the divisions and disagreements between the different political forces in parliament, the MB Secretary-General informed Asharq Al-Awsat that “we are all in agreement on the constitution itself; therefore, the dispute over the constituent assembly is a fabrication, the creation of a problem from nothing.” He added “the political forces have agreed on the al-Azhar document and the Democratic Alliance code…therefore it is easy to draft a constitution based on this, in accordance with what has already been agreed upon, regardless of who is drafting this.”

Tens of thousands of Egyptians took to the streets this week to express their anger over the acquittal of a number of senior Egyptian officials, staging protests across the country. The MB Secretary-General said that “these acquittal were a message that the [Egyptian] people understood, and this represents an attempt to attack the revolution, and a message that no one will be brought to trial over the blood of the martyrs…however this will only make the people even more determined to preserve their rights.”

Hussein also told Asharq Al-Awsat that “this verdict indicates that some people are trying to restore the former regime, in an even stronger position” adding “the acquittals shocked the public, and has granted them the opportunity to unite the revolution once more.”

MB Secretary-General Dr. Mahmoud Hussein also accused General Shafiq’s campaign of exploiting village chiefs and elders in the Nile Delta region and Upper Egypt to recruit the votes of simple citizens, adding that he expects the acquitted Interior Ministry officials to support Shafiq in the forthcoming presidential run-off.