Khairat Al-Shater: Fulfilling Egyptian Revolution’s Demands Top Muslim Brotherhood Priority
Khairat Al-Shater, deputy chairman of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), reiterated that the Brotherhood and the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), the MB’s political arm, rank fulfilling the revolution’s demands as their top priority in post-Mubarak Egypt.
In an interview with the French newspaper Le Figaro, published in its Friday edition, Al-Shater said that "The FJP puts on top of its priorities meeting the demands of the revolution, clearing all state institutions of the former president’s cronies, and the renewal of the executive committees, as well as restructuring of the Ministry of Interior and the police, which were the main authorities suppressing the Egyptian people before and during the Revolution".
"At the political level, the transitional phase should come to an end. The first step has been taken, in the shape of elections of the People’s Assembly (PA). Furthermore, Shura Council elections are to be held in the next few days. Then, Parliament should task a 100-member constituent assembly to write the country’s new constitution. And, finally, the Presidential elections should be held in June 2012", Al-Shater added.
He attributed the delay in transfer of ruling power to civilians to "groups and movements that are trying to spread chaos in Egypt", asserting that "the Army sees the need to hand over ruling power to civilian authorities".
In response to a question about the armed forces budget in the country’s new constitution, the MB Deputy Chairman said:
"Looking at other countries’ constitutions, it is likely that Egypt will adopt the American model, where a specialized Parliamentary Committee studies the military establishment’s budget in detail and in complete secrecy, and then declares only the totals to the rest of PA MPs", adding that, "This is a transparent system which, at the same time, respects the army’s confidentiality issues".
With regard to international relations and the Brotherhood’s declaration that it respects all treaties signed by Egypt, including the Camp David Accords, MB Deputy Chairman Al-Shater reaffirmed: "We are the guarantee for the continuity of the state and its foreign relations, and therefore we should respect all international agreements".
Al-Shater continued: "Our role as an Arab state is to support the Palestinian decisions which are taken democratically and express the general will of the people. That is our official position". He pointed out that, "We will persist in pressuring Western governments that constantly support Israel’s actions and positions while it continues to impede international law".
As for MB relations with Western countries which boycotted the movement in the past, in the light of recent meetings between MB members and Western officials, Al-Shater stressed that, "It is important for Western powers to be aware that the situation has changed. For one thing, after the global crisis, new players have emerged, such as India, Brazil and China. Moreover, the Arab Spring has transformed the situation in the Middle East. The United States and the European Union will not play the same roles they have in the past. The geopolitical situation is changing. It is time for Western powers realize that".
This article was originally published in Arabic at Middle East News Agency, and this is the link to the original interview on Le Figaro