Describing political participation as significant in paving the way for democracy, Dr. Essam El Erian from the Muslim Brotherhood and vice president of the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) opposed calls for a five-year political ban on members from the former ruling National Democratic Party (NDP).
He stressed that the polls should be the decisive factor, adding that Egyptians are mature enough to decide who they want to represent them without having any particular faction being banned from participating. He highlighted that although the MB faced decades of crackdowns, repression and attempts by the NDP to counter the group, he felt it was not necessary to call on authorities to do the same and objected to such practices.
El Erian added that demanding the political exclusion of former NDP members was not a demand of the people’s revolution, nor would it serve democracy. He maintained that such decisions needed a drafted law, not appeals by individual groups rejecting the banning of any political opposition, emphasizing that democracy meant free participation and speech for one and all regardless of ideology.