- October 5, 2011
- 8 minutes read
MB Accuses SCAF of Delving Into Polilitcs By Extending Transition Period
Muslim Brotherhood And Recent Events
On the 1st of October 2011,several members of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) met with a number of party leaders, and agreed on several points, which sparked wide controversy throughout Egyptian society. We, therefore, feel it is important that we clarify our position.
1. The meeting with SCAF resulted in the establishment of a timeframe for the holding of parliamentary elections (People’s Assembly and Shura Council), which ends after the two houses convene in April 2012. This will be followed by the selection of members of the Constituent Assembly charged with preparing a new constitution for the country. The process of preparing the constitution is to take six months.
A referendum will be held on the new constitution fifteen days after it’s been drafted. Two months later, the President of the Republic will be elected. All this contradicts announcements made by the military from the outset when it first took power. At the time, it declared that the transitional period will not exceed six months. This was then extended so it would end with the presidential election, before the end of 2011. SCAF statement number 28 announced:
“The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces stresses that there is no truth to the news reported and circulated by the media about postponing the presidential elections to 2012. SCAF also affirms that the armed forces wishes to end its mission as soon as possible and to hand over power to a civil authority that will be elected by this great nation”.
The agreement that resulted from SCAF’s meeting with party leaders means that SCAF’s statement 28, released on March, 28 2011 was entirely tossed overboard, and that the presidential elections, at best, will be completed towards the end of 2012, and may even later in mid-2013.
This warns of great dangers resulting from the extended transitional period with its turbulent and tumultuous events, with public fear and confusion, with tremendous negative impact on security, investment and production, and the immersion of the military into political strife, while distracting SCAF from its crucial core mission at a time when ominous warnings loom on the horizon. This also delays the transfer of power to the people – the source of authority and sovereignty.
The Muslim Brotherhood rejects this in its entirety, and insists on the completion of the elections as soon as possible, and on holding the presidential elections immediately following the formation of parliament, without waiting for drafting of the Constitution. This is the lesser of two evils, because the people will not accept this extended delay and procrastination.
2. It was also agreed that a legislation is to be considered to bar some of the leaders of the dissolved National Democractic Party from exercising political rights. In fact, both SCAF and the interim government declared many times already that they would do just that, and then began stalling. Meanwhile, the majority of the people demand that those who corrupted political life, caused great harm and suffering to the people and betrayed public trust must lose their political rights – all of them, not just some as stated in the recent agreement. The military and the interim government must listen and respond positively to what the people want. They should not just say: we’ll «consider legislation». It is absurd that the people expel those criminals out of the door, only to find others letting them in through the window. Indeed, SCAF and the government must stick to their word in order to preserve public trust.
3. Senior jurists have concluded that the state of emergency has ended based on the provisions of Article 59 of the Constitutional Declaration; and the popular will to end it is firm and persistent. Emergency rule lasted three decades, mostly without justification. The military must not insist on imposing it any longer, far less expands its range, especially as SCAF announced in February 2011 that it will be lifted at the earliest opportunity and, at worst, before the start of the elections. Now, here we are on the eve of the elections and members of SCAF assert its imposition until May 2012, in violation of the Constitutional Declaration and the promises they made, and against the will of the majority of the people.
4. As for Constitutional Guidelines, we have said repeatedly that we are against all so-called Supra-Constitutional Principles and the so-called Inviolable Constitutional Principles and against the imposition of any specific formation of the Constituent Assembly that will draft the new Constitution not chosen by the People’s Assembly and Shura Council, and against the army playing a role in political life, since that is what corrupts the political life and distracts the army from its real role and mission.
5. Our position as regards SCAF is only based on its position on the issues affecting the nation; we support it when it’s righteous, and advise it when it’s not. The Muslim Brotherhood measure attitudes on the basis of guiding principles; and never lend support unconditionally, and never oppose anyone at all times.
Finally, we find that the solution to the current impasse, which we and the whole country have to face, lies in the speedy fulfilment of promises and declarations, in respecting the Constitution and the will of the people, and the rapid transfer of power from the military to an elected civilian authority as soon as possible for fear that things go wrong and the country descends into further turmoil with dire consequences.
The Muslim Brotherhood
Cairo: 7 of Dhul-Qida 1432AH, 5th of October 2011