MB Parliamentarians Meet With Group of European Ambassadors
Robert Poker, Australia’s ambassador to Cairo, received at his house on Monday, both Dr. Mohamed Saad Al Katatni- the chairman of the Muslim Brotherhood’s (MB) parliamentary bloc, and Eng. Saad Al Husseini – the bloc’s under secretary general, and invited them to lunch along with Philip Mac Yanon, Canada’s ambassador to Cairo, and Rene Wilson, New Zealand’s ambassador to Cairo.
The meeting was friendly and it included discussing the performance and political program of the MB bloc in the Egyptian People’s Assembly, on the supervisory, legislative and service levels, and how the MPs reach out to people and the bloc’s achievements in the Assembly.
They talked also about the Muslim Brotherhood’s party that will be announced; Al Katatni said that the Muslim Brotherhood seeks to establish a civil party with an Islamic reference, stressing that a group that has 88 MPs who were elected by more than three million citizens has the right to establish a political party to express its cultural and reformist project and to respond to controversial issues raised by critics to attack the Muslim Brotherhood.
Al Katatni urged ambassadors of the three countries to increase their investments in Egypt, pointing out that the MB bloc is giving a priority to fighting corruption and poverty, and improving health and education. He confirmed also his rejection to the constitutional amendments proposed by the president because they lack a national consensus due to the fact that ruling National democratic Party (NDP) drafted them alone, without meeting the ambitions of the Egyptian people who demand reform in all walks of life while the government is giving a deaf ear to them.
Muslim Brotherhood MPs Meets British Embassy Official
In a related context, a delegation of the MB parliamentary bloc received on Monday evening, Claire Helbrine, the head of P&PA at the British embassy to Cairo.
The Embassy Secretary listened to MB parliamentarians views regarding the constitutional amendments proposed by president Mubarak, and Muslim Brotherhood’s attitude towards women and Copts, in addition to their attitude towards establishing a political party.
The blo delegation included MPs: Ali Fath Al-Bab, Mostafa Awadallah, Dr. Ahmed Abu Baraka, Eng. Mahmoud Amer, Dr. Hazem Farouk, and Eng. Ashraf Badruddin .
Ali Fath Al-Bab spoke about the constitutional amendments starting from president Mubarak’s presenting them and until they were ratified in the Egyptian parliament by the majority of the ruling party. Also, Ali Fath Al-Bab discussed the reasons that made more than 100 MPs- including the Muslim Brotherhood bloc – reject these amendments, criticizing the amendments that include excluding judges from supervising the election process, pointing out that the last parliamentary elections revealed that the ruling National democratic Party van garner only 25 % of the seats of the parliament; thus, the regime wants to rig the elections to make up the parliament that the president seeks.
Ali Fath Al-Bab attacked the new restrictions introduced to the constitutional amendments regarding forming parties, saying the regime has added, with these amendments, more restrictions to establishing parties, although parties should be founded upon notification, explaining that the committee that controls establishing parties belongs to the ruling NDP!!
He said that the Egyptian constitution highlights party pluralism, while all the executive authority’s unconstitutional decisions reject establishing parties; consequently, these decisions can be challenged and contested constitutionally. The regimes wants to introduce these amendments that include restrictions on forming parties in the constitution so that no one can challenge the constitutionality of its decisions in the future.
Dr. Ahmed Abu Baraka, a member in the MB bloc, said that canceling the judicial supervision is the practical part in the president’s discourse and method. He pointed out that this step has been taken although there is a full conviction that the judges must fully supervise the election process to guarantee their integrity and fairness; Abou Baraka said that the regime overturned against the rights that were obtained through 2005 elections and violated the popular will that calls for achieving a complete judicial supervision over the election process.
Regarding the debate over the party that the Muslim Brotherhood group declared and whether it is a reaction to outlawing the religious activity of the Muslim Brotherhood, Abou Baraka said the idea and program of an MB affiliated party is on the table since more than 30 years, and “we insist on canceling the parties law and seek a real life for the political parties.
Regarding arresting 73 salafists in the city of Minuf, under the claim that they are coordinating with the Muslim Brotherhood in running for the Shura elections, Eng. Ashraf Badruddin said that these salafists aren’t related with the Muslim Brotherhood, and some of them attacked the Muslim Brotherhood for their running the elections. He said the detainees belong to the constituency of the ruling NDP businessman , Ahmed Ezz; the National Democratic Party wants to make people in this constituency afraid of the Muslim Brotherhood through claiming that the salafists are arrested because they supported the Muslim Brotherhood in the last parliamentary elections.
Regarding the latest clash between the Egyptian regime and the Muslim Brotherhood, Dr. Hazem Farouk said: We are keen on the stability of the country, want our opposition to be in accordance with the law and constitution; also, we want this opposition to be positive and effective.
He added that this is a deeply-established principle in the Muslim Brotherhood: to seek freedom in all walks of life, while the regime is keen on monopolizing power and wealth and preventing 97 % of the Egyptian people from participating in power.
For his part, Saad Al Husseini, the under secretary general of the bloc, described these meetings in a statement to Ikhwanweb as” constructive and they aim at clarifying the real image of the Muslim Brotherhood’s MPs and their attitudes towards various issues, specially under the current circumstances in Egypt, including the constitutional amendments and the Muslim Brotherhood’s party and its political agenda “.
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