ISN: US denies support of ElBaradei’s call to integrate MB into Egypt’s political system
A report published by the The International Relations and Security Network (ISN) about former Noble Peace Prize laureate Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei indicated the success achieved by ElBaradei in attracting opposing political activists, academics and intellectuals to form the National Front for Change is rare and unique.
In a political system that suffers from lack of democracy and widespread oppression, ElBaradei has symbolized the dawn of a new phase in the struggle between the Egyptian regime and its domestic opponents by collaborating with opposition factors mainly the popular Muslim Brotherhood. The NAC and the MB have united in the popular demand which has not been met with lightly calling on the ruling authorities to lift its heavy control over the country. The report stresses that;
“The regime was determined to prevent its domestic rivals from achieving any goals that might undermine the existing political ruling order. The opposition factions, and mainly the Muslim Brotherhood movement, share three demands: amendment of the constitution to prevent the president and the ruling party from absolute control of the political and parliamentary scene; cancellation of the state of emergency in place for almost three decades; and liberalization of the media, which is now subject to heavy governmental control”.
According to ISN the online project of the Centre for Security Studies which works collectively with the world’s leading think tanks, universities, research institutes, NGOs and international organizations, The government is adamant to prevent the growth of any united opposition front in Egypt. Therefore, the widespread arrests by the State, is designed to curb the ability of the opposition mainly the Muslim Brotherhood to participate in the upcoming parliamentary elections.
“Soon enough it became clear that the regime had chosen the second approach. The regime escalated its struggle against its political opponents, mainly the Muslim Brotherhood, which was portrayed as an illegal organization exploiting religion and the naiveté of ordinary citizens to promote their political goals. In many official statements the significant differences between this Islamic political movement and militant groups, such as the jihad, Hezbollah, and even al-Qaeda were intentionally blurred. Large amounts of money and property were confiscated and restrictions on movement were imposed on many activists – some were forbidden to leave the country. Hundreds of activists (including several officials) were arrested and tried before military courts, which in quick and controversial judicial procedures sentenced them to heavy punishments”.
The report finds that the opportunity for ElBaradei to run in the upcoming presidential elections is weak and almost non-existent, as it appears the United States this time round is expected to refrain from taking any interfering stance on the impending elections unlike its position on the 2005 elections. The United States was affected by the strong performance and success of the Muslim Brotherhood and according to the report fears another outstanding success by the group.
“The opposition parties suffered an even worse failure, with only fourteen of their delegates elected. On the other hand, the Muslim Brotherhood reached an unprecedented achievement of 88 delegates in the parliament – almost six times their representation in the previous parliament. This achievement might have been even greater had the government not disrupted the third round of elections”.
Another factor promoting no support from the US is that ElBaradei’s relations with the US during his term as IAEA was unstable, hence ElBaradei’s call for the integration of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt’s political system as a legitimate party will not enjoy considerable support in Washington.
The report indicates that it seems almost certain that the next president will come from within the ruling National Democratic Party or any of the State institutions associated with it, and that the security services play an important role in determining the identity of the next president rejecting the reforms proposed by ElBaradei and the MB.
“In recent years Gamal Mubarak has become the most influential persona
In the ruling party except for his father, the president. The initiatives that he promoted as the head of the Policy Committee in the NDP, his public statements, and the wide coverage they have received in the semi establishment media have all cultivated his image as a reformer striving to bring comprehensive change to his country. Mubarak’s son is identified with the Egyptian financial elite and there is no doubt of his control of the NDP. However, he is not seen as close to the military, the intelligence establishment, and the internal security agencies, which are heavily tied to the Egyptian regime”.
According to the report however;
“While Hosni Mubarak managed to control these centers of power, his son’s lack of experience might interfere in his own attempt to do the same. There is broad opposition to Gamal Mubarak’s potential ascent to power, but the opposition is too divided to choose a presidential candidate“.
The report, concluded its analysis highlighting that despite ElBaradei’s political rise the desire of the Egyptian society in a radical change in power and the political system, it is imperative the opposing allies distinguish between system maintenance and the actual operation of the system.