- Reform Issues
- April 24, 2008
- 4 minutes read
Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood leader slams President Mubarak’s son
The leader of Egypt”s Muslim Brotherhood opposition group on Wednesday rejected Gamal Mubarak, the son of President Hosny Mubarak, as a possible presidential candidate, saying his policies are the worst he has seen.
“I categorically reject Gamal Mubarak,” Mahdi Akif told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa.
Gamal Mubarak, who has been accumulating political power over the last seven years, is now the head of the influential policy committee of Egypt”s ruling National Democratic Party.
The young politician”s rise to power has led many people in Egypt to believe that he was being groomed to succeed his 79-year-old father.
Before the amendment of Article 76 of the constitution, the Muslim Brotherhood believed that Gamal Mubarak was eligible as an ordinary Egyptian citizen to be a presidential candidate, Akif said.
“But after the constitutional amendment, which was tailored to suit him (Gamal Mubarak), he should not run for presidency unless he leaves his father”s palace and deals with the people,” Akif said.
The constitutional amendment, which was ratified in 2005, imposed tough conditions on independent candidates who do not belong to Egypt”s political parties.
Independent candidates are required to receive the backing of at least 250 members of the lower and upper houses of parliament and local councils.
The Muslim Brotherhood, though illegal, makes up the most vigorous opposition movement in Egypt. It won 88 of parliament”s 454 seats in the 2005 polls with its candidates running as independents.
“I reject Gamal Mubarak having seen the worst of his policies: military courts, arrests, jailing of opposition figures and spiralling prices,” Akif said.
“All those policies have been made in the policy committee (of the ruling party). I always expect the worst of him,” Akif added.
After a year-long trial, an Egyptian military court convicted last week 25 senior members of the Muslim Brotherhood and sentenced them to up to 10 years in prison.
The charges ranged from money laundering to terrorism.
The verdict came as the authorities were carrying out a crackdown against the group in which more than 800 members were arrested ahead of key local elections.
Hundreds of candidates from the movement were also prevented by the government from registering their names on the election list, prompting the group to withdraw from the polls.
“The group will not give in the future,” said Akif, commenting on what his movement would do in case the government stopped it from fielding candidates in future elections.
The group has learned a lesson from the last local election and would have a calculated approach in the future, Akif noted.