Al-Shater Expects SCAF to Ratify Disenfranchisement Law
Khairat Al-Shater, Egyptian presidential candidate, said that the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) has expressed a wish to accept the legislature’s vision. He added that he expected SCAF to ratify the Disenfranchisement Law amendment to deprive former regime figures from exercising their political rights.
In the program "Liqa’a Alyawm” (Today’s Interview) on the satellite TV channel Al-Jazeera, Thursday, said that the position of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) vis-a-vis the Ganzouri government is unchanged, due to the current cabinet’s inability to find solutions, its dependence on borrowing, and its intent on bequeathing debts and crises to the next government.
He stressed that the Egyptian people’s revolution will be resumed if power is not transferred to civilians in time, as scheduled, pointing that everyone now has doubts and concerns and suspicions that we may not have free and fair elections, and that handover of power may not happen as agreed.
Further, Al-Shater asserted that in spite of fierce vilifying and slander campaigns by the media against the Muslim Brotherhood, the group’s popularity is on the rise, and the evidence is clear from elections and referendums, since March 2011.
Regarding the legal challenge submitted against him before the Administrative Court, Al-Shater said: "I respect and appreciate Egyptian judiciary to a large extent. This matter is up to the bar. There is a proposal to correct the conditions I suffered unfairly under the former regime”. He asserted that, if he is excluded from the presidential race due to the unjust court-martial conviction, perhaps Hosni Mubarak is still in power and the revolution has never been.
Al-Shater urged all parties for dialogue, coordination and cooperation in bringing about genuine democratic transformation that reflects the true spirit of the revolution. He explained that turning up at Tahrir Square to demonstrate is a peaceful means for people to express their rejection of the current direction on the political scene today, where it seems certain hands are pushing former regime figures into the presidential election.
Furthermore, Al-Shater affirmed that the Egyptian people have regained their positive ability to effectively express their revolt, “Friday’s mass demonstration aimed to defend the gains of the revolution and maximize its results in the face of attempts to thwart the march for democratic transformation.
“Friday’s million-man march also shows that revolutionary parties, powers and groups have a strong desire to support the revolution until its objectives are achieved and the hopes and aspirations of the Egyptian people are fulfilled, on the ground.”
Moreover, Al-Shater said: "In principle, we accept any candidate who wishes to contest the presidential race. But those who have, for long years, corrupted Egypt’s political life, looted its resources, plundered the wealth of its nation, and played with people’s destiny, should be held accountable and at least be deprived of their political rights".
Furthermore, Al-Shater said that the people are fearful, with the corrupt former regime’s head of intelligence amongst the candidates for the forthcoming presidential elections, that heinous acts of fraud will re-create the defunct regime.
Al-Shater pointed out that the people became deeply anxious and concerned for their revolution, after seeing Omar Suleiman heading out to submit his candidacy documents surrounded by an official guard of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, since this indicates there is official support for the Major General who was Mubarak’s right hand for decades.
“While confusion and ambiguity are the essential nature of political life, due to ever changing variables”, Al-Shater explained, “we expect that players in the political arena will be seeking to play all their cards now. Also, old regime officials are endeavoring to make a comeback. So, we expect many surprises, changes and developments”.
Moreover, Al-Shater added that, from the outset, the Brotherhood wanted to be part of the legislative authority, if the people chose them for that. He pointed that, “They also wanted to have some sort of presence in the executive branch, so they can fulfill the hopes and aspirations of the Egyptian people and achieve at least a part of its objectives.
“So, the Brotherhood tried to get the right to head a broad-coalition government in order to implement these programs. However, when they were prevented from forming that Cabinet, they resorted to fielding a candidate for the presidency, so as to be part of the executive authority and to be able to implement our own programs for the progress and revitalization of Egypt again.”
Al-Shater emphasized that what upset everyone, especially the Muslim Brotherhood, was the claim by a presidential candidate that he had received a death threat from the Muslim Brotherhood who for decades under Mubarak and others suffered gross injustice, were relentlessly persecuted, arrested, tortured and killed in custody, but no-one ever claimed that they made such threats. In fact, that claim was an ominous message to all.
He continued, “We offer a program backed by the Party and the group, urging everyone to cooperate and partake to achieve the Renaissance Project and implement its initiatives on the ground. Certainly, there are many options now, and the Egyptian people can choose their favorite candidate".
Whilst the Mubarak-era never witnessed free or fair elections, Al-Shater said, the Egyptian people voted in the Brotherhood with parliamentary elections that everyone vouched for their integrity, transparency and fairness.
Denying that large numbers of Muslim Brotherhood members left the group, Al-Shater said no more than 40 members actually left throughout the stages of democratic transition. He added that, in any country, multiple views arise, with some rejecting decisions of the Brotherhood’s Shura Council. Although that is their right, Al-Shater added, Shura Council decisions are binding on all members. If some members are determined not to commit to the rules, certain actions may be taken, with all due respect.