Dr. Mohamed Morsi, Chairman of the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), met this morning with former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, president of the Carter Center international foundation. The meeting discussed the ongoing parliamentary elections, the FJP’s leading position in that race, the party’s position with regard to current events, and its vision for the conclusion of the transitional phase.
At the beginning of the meeting, Carter congratulated the FJP chairman on the results achieved by the party, pointing out that there is international consensus to respect these results which reflect the Egyptian people’s desires and choices.
Carter pointed that his organization monitored and analyzed the electoral processes in 87 different parts of the world, and that it can therefore whole-heartedly confirm the integrity of the electoral process in Egypt and its compliance with international standards of transparency and fairness.
Carter called on the FJP to try and accommodate nascent and new parties of youth which have not achieved significant rates of victory in the recent elections. He also called the party to increase the participation of women in all fields, after expressing remarks on the underrepresentation of women in the upcoming parliament.
Carter stated that the next stage requires focus on the civil nature of the state and ending military rule, adding that true legitimacy is conferred by the people who select their representatives in the various elections, enquiring at the same time about the FJP’s perspective with respect to the new constitution and the position of the armed forces in it.
Carter also discussed the Palestinian issue, noting that his organization monitored the elections in Palestine in 2006 – elections which were free and fair but the United States and the international community refused to recognize the results. Carter then pointed out that the peace agreement signed between Egypt and Israel had two sides: the first related to Israeli and international obligations towards the Palestinian cause, and the second to military matters; but what has been implemented of the agreement is the second part, while the first – regarding Palestinian rights – has not been dealt with adequately, adding that the former Egyptian regime played a major role in the marginalization of that side.
For his part, Dr. Mohamed Morsi warmly welcomed the former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and the role played by his organization in the electoral process – a role which is not new, by any means, and an organization which has had numerous praise-worthy monitoring operations in many countries. Dr. Morsi added that the FJP believes that leadership of Egypt during this stage cannot be undertaken by any single faction, political party or stakeholder alone, and that consensus between all political parties, stakeholders and civil society organizations is essential for Egypt to cross the current transitional phase.
Dr. Morsi pointed that the party also believes that people from across the entire spectrum should be involved in drafting the next constitution, which is an agreement between the people and the government; and therefore, it must be based on definite consensus and solid agreement. He also pointed out that there is agreement already among all political stakeholders on the first four sections of the existing Constitution, relating to freedoms and rights of citizenship, while section V – on the powers of the President of the Republic, the political system and the position of the armed forces – is the one that needs amendment. He also explained that the FJP believes the mixed presidential/Parliamentary system model is optimal for Egypt in the current transitional period, adding that this can later be transformed into a full parliamentary system, after the completion of the democratic process.
The FJP chairman stressed that it is early to endorsing a candidate for the presidency, especially since procedures and processes for presidential elections have not even started as yet, referring to the party’s commitment to earlier Muslim Brotherhood statements undertaking not to nominate any candidates for the presidency or support of any of its members who violate this resolution.
Dr. Morsi also pointed out the special place occupied by the Palestinian issue in the hearts of the Egyptian people, including the FJP – which requires the international community to understand the needs of the Palestinian people, their right to statehood, and the importance of lifting the siege imposed on them, adding that Egypt is a big country with vital institutions, and that these institutions respect the agreements signed in the past – as long as all parties are committed to their terms within the framework of respect for sovereignty and independence.