Al-Arian: Brotherhood will Continue on its Way toward Free Elections Despite Government Repression
Dr Essam Al-Arian, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood Executive Bureau, has stressed that the Muslim Brotherhood is facing an unprecedented police crackdown that appears certain to weaken the political standing of the nation’s largest opposition group in Sunday’s parliamentary elections.
In an interview on Iran’s Arabic channel ‘Al-Alam on Saturday evening, Al-Arian noted that the Brotherhood as a reformist force adopts the constitutional struggle and will abide by the law in its dispute with the ruling party that does not comply with Egyptian law.
Al-Arian stressed that the authorities have been mounting a crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood since they began participating in the elections, at a time when MB candidates and their supporters are determined to continue the electoral process.
Al-Arian emphasized that the ruling regime is not at all popular. He also noted that it fails to have a proposed platform is and that it uses the Emergency Law to pressurize the movement. The Muslim Brotherhood is the most potent force against President Hosni Mubarak’s ruling National Democratic Party. The group won a record 88 seats, or nearly 20% of the 2005 parliament; nearly two million voters.
“The MB offers a real platform that is not similar to that of the ruling NDP which insists on using military courts to intimidate their political opponents and hold emergency elections,” Al-Arian said.
The intimidation of MB candidates and the pressure exerted by security forces have generated a considerable amount of popular sympathy with the group due to the NDP’s failure to implement its platform, address the deterioration that currently exists in terms of facilities and services, the party’s rift, and its inability to run a single candidate for the same seat.
Al-Arian has confirmed that the Muslim Brotherhood is determined to contest in the forthcoming parliamentary elections.
Al-Arian also accused the Higher Election Commission of abandoning its role in managing the polls and that it is doing so for the benefit of the Egyptian Interior Ministry.
Al-Arian added: “The regime cannot deny us our presence, we are popular and we will always enjoy this popularity whether we are in parliament with more or less than 20%.”