Analysts: ElBaradei’s success needs MB grass root support

Analysts: ElBaradei’s success needs MB grass root support

Winner of the Nobel Peace Prize has assumed the role of reform campaigner with the support of Egypt ‘s strongest opposition bloc the Muslim Brotherhood. The group has had its fair share of animosity with continued arbitrary arrests and indefinite detentions to many of its members.

The Brotherhood’s members who have met with ElBaradei in recent weeks  as have representatives of Egypt’s other opposition parties have decided to join his expanding coalition which is so far composed of individuals rather than parties. The meetings have had an unprecedented impact on Egypt ‘s political scene. The Brotherhood’s secretary general Mahmoud Hussein declared publicly last week that his group would join ElBaradei’s call for political reform stressing that it is the call they have made since the founding of the group. They will call for amendments in the constitution which concentrates on demands for free, air and transparent elections and the annulling of the 30 year emergency law which has been mistakenly implemented.

Mohamed Morsy media spokesmen for the group has reiterated that the group is and always will be capable of working alone however he asserted that the group extends a hand to all who are willing to unite in their stance against the ruling regimes suppression on the country’s people. The MB continues in their principle of peaceful reform highlighting they are against violence.

Egypt affairs expert at Kent State University , Joshua Stacher has explained that a coalition of forces will benefit ElBaradei stating that "The national coalition doesn’t need Tagammu or the Nasserists," referring to some of Egypt ‘s established but largely inconsequential opposition parties. "They need the Brothers. You cannot have a movement urging for political reform or change in Egypt without the Brothers on board". The Brotherhood is far more popular than any of the small liberal opposition groups that collaborated together in 2005 under the banner of Kefaya or those who supported the presidential campaign of Ayman Nour, who came in a very far second to President Mubarak in the country’s first multicandidate presidential race.

Although the Brotherhood has been officially banned since 1954, it has been partially tolerated nonetheless during various periods since. Its participation and success in acquiring 88 out of the 444 seats in 2005 parliamentary elections is evidence of this. However recent arrests and campaigns against the group’s members in particular senior leaders have revealed that the regime may not accept a second defeat. State security apparatus has conducted wide mass arrests targeting the high ranking leaders in an effort to thwart the group’s participation. Predawn raids, confiscation of personal belongings and ransacking of houses have become the trademark of the security forces on order from the ruling regime. The group has confirmed that it will enter the parliamentary elections scheduled to run in autumn but will not strike any deals with opposition groups. Its current allying is solely for the call of political reform as previously stated by MB MP Saad Katatni.

Analysts stress that although the road to political reform has its obstacles, beginning with Mubarak’s determination to quell any such challenges, maybe a coalition with ElBaradei is the solution for his call to be heeded. Stressing "If a successful democratic movement requires active grass-roots support in Egypt , having the Brotherhood on board may be key to reaching the masses. And its steel may be as important to ElBaradei’s coalition as its popular support".