Mobile  |  About us  |  Photos  |  Videos  |  Subscriptions  |  RSS Feeds  |  Today's Paper  |  Classifieds  |  Contact Us
The Daily Star
FRIDAY, 18 APR 2014
11:13 AM Beirut time
Weather    
Beirut
20 °C
Blom Index
BLOM
1,214.01down
Middle East
Follow this story Print RSS Feed ePaper share this
Egypt’s Brotherhood deliberating over presidential run
Associated Press
A protester holds up a placard displaying the logos of Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice party (L) and ousted president Hosni Mubarak's defunct National Democratic Party (NDP) (REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh)
A protester holds up a placard displaying the logos of Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice party (L) and ousted president Hosni Mubarak's defunct National Democratic Party (NDP) (REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh)
A+ A-

CAIRO: Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood was debating Tuesday whether to field a candidate in the upcoming presidential election, a much-anticipated decision that would signal whether the fundamentalist group intends to escalate or defuse rising tensions with the nation’s other political players.

The Brotherhood has emerged as the most powerful political group since Hosni Mubarak was ousted last year, capturing nearly 50 percent of the seats in Egypt’s first post-uprising parliamentary elections. It’s growing grip on power has fueled concerns among liberals and secularists about the Brotherhood intentions and whether it aims to govern alone, controlling both the parliament and the presidency.

The Islamist group’s political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party, said on its website that 110 members of the Brotherhood’s senior legislative council were meeting Tuesday to decide on fielding a presidential candidate. A top Brotherhood official, Mohammad al-Beltagy, told Egypt’s Al-Tahrir television late Monday that an internal poll showed a majority of Brotherhood members oppose reversing the group’s earlier pledge not to field a candidate.

According to the Al-Masry Al-Youm daily, two of the top names under consideration are Brotherhood strongman and financier Khayrat al-Shater and parliament Speaker Saad al-Katatni, who doesn’t have strong popularity in the streets.

Given the Brotherhood’s skills at rallying voters, a candidate backed by the Brotherhood would stand a strong chance of winning the presidency.

Other Islamist groups, such as the Salafists, have agreed to support one candidate to prevent the fragmentation of the Islamist vote, according to Yousri Hamad, a spokesman for the Salafist Al-Nour party.

This week, the Brotherhood and the ultraconservative Salafists claimed a firm majority of seats on a panel tasked with writing a new constitution. That gives the Islamists a strong hand in writing the new charter, which will determine the balance of power between Egypt’s previously all-powerful president and parliament, and define the country’s future identity, including the role of religion and minority rights.

Meanwhile, Egypt’s ruling military council is also meeting with political parties Tuesday, a day after it issued a statement that was seen as a concealed warning to the Brotherhood.

For weeks, the Brotherhood has been pressing the ruling generals to sack the current government, led by Prime Minister Kamal al-Ganzouri, citing incompetence and saying the government’s poor performance harms the group’s image in the street. The military had rejected those demands.

Also, top Brotherhood leader Rashad Bayoumi said that Ganzouri threatened the group of working to dissolve the Islamist-dominated parliament. Such a showdown was expected for months.

Egypt’s interim constitution, issued by the ruling military generals, has given the military council the power to dissolve and form governments, chipping away at the majority of the parliament’s powers.

In the face of its inability to exert power, the Brotherhood has reconsidered its previous pledge not to contest the presidential vote, which was an attempt to assure liberals that the group doesn’t intend to govern alone.

The group has struggled internally to prevent many of its youth members to abide by its decisions not to support an ex-member of the Brotherhood, a moderate Islamist, who was fired from the group for violating its earlier decision not to run in the elections.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on March 28, 2012, on page 9.
Home Middle East
 
     
 
Egypt
Advertisement
Comments  

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

comments powered by Disqus
Advertisement


Baabda 2014
Advertisement
Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Linked In Follow us on Google+ Subscribe to our Live Feed
Multimedia
Images  
Pictures of the day
A selection of images from around the world- Thursday April 17, 2014
View all view all
Advertisement
Rami G. Khouri
Rami G. Khouri
Silencing Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s hate talk
Michael Young
Michael Young
Why confuse gibberish with knowledge?
David Ignatius
David Ignatius
Putin will keep rolling, until Obama says no
View all view all
Advertisement
cartoon
 
Click to View Articles
 
 
News
Business
Opinion
Sports
Culture
Technology
Entertainment
Privacy Policy | Anti-Spamming Policy | Disclaimer | Copyright Notice
© 2014 The Daily Star - All Rights Reserved - Designed and Developed By IDS