Akef Denies Muslim Brotherhood is Eyeing The Presidency
|Tuesday, May 9,2006 00:00|
|By AL Maseer Al Arabi|
In an interview with al-Maseer al-Arabi Newspaper (translated by Ikhwanweb);the Muslim Brotherhood Chairman, Mr. Mohamed Akef, anwered questions on the issues of power succession in Egypt, the standoff with judiciary, and the Palestinian Dilemma. Mr. Akef also denied the Muslim Brotherhood intention to furnish a presidential candidate in any upcoming elections in Egypt as long as the laws the govern this process remained the same.
Q: What is your opinion about the current situation in the Palestinian territories in terms of Western pressures on the Hamas government? What is the attitude of the Muslim Brotherhood in that regard?
A # 1: The Palestinian people are paying today the price of their free democratic selection. The blockade and starvation campaign imposed on them is increasing just because they elected the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) in free and fair elections. We condemn that campaign and denounce those who carry it out, especially when it is resorted to by Arab governments whose duty is to provide support and aid to Palestinians who have been fighting a battle for existence over a period of more than half a century on behalf of the Arab/Islamic Umma (nation). We call on Arab and Muslim peoples to back the steadfastness of the Palestinian people and to break the blockade imposed on them.
Q: Dr. Essam el-Aryan, the well-known leading figure in the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) recently declared that the Islamic trend had taken power in Palestine and very soon- in his own words- would do so in Morocco to be followed, according to him, by Egypt. Does that statement by a leading figure like Dr. el-Aryan expresses the MB’s intention to participate in the next presidential elections in Egypt?
A: The statement doesn’t mean that. The Islamic trend in Palestine has taken part in the parliamentarian and not the presidential elections, which is also true of Morocco. As for the presidential elections in Egypt, the current situation does not allow any group other than the ruling National Party to submit candidates. We are faced with one of two things: either to make a constitutional amendment allowing more than one candidate or to continue to have only a single candidate from the National Party without any competitors, in which case the Egyptian people would be restricted to just saying yes or no to that candidate.
Q: Do you expect Muslim Brothers, in case they take part in the presidential elections, to achieve an overwhelming victory like Hamas?
A: It is not envisioned by the MB’s policy to present a candidate to the presidential elections.
Q: What do you think about the prepared plan for power succession from the President to his son?
A: Egypt is governed by a presidential system where there is no room at all for power inheritance. We demand free and fair elections to be conducted in an atmosphere of honest competition in which everyone is afforded an equal opportunity. It is then the elections that should produce the successful candidate who receives the confidence of the people after Article 76 of the Constitution is amended.
Q: What is the attitude of the Muslim Brotherhood toward the events surrounding the Emergency Law?
A: It is regrettable that the Emergency Law has been extended for a further two years against the desire of the people and their political forces.
Q: What is your opinion regarding the judges’ attitude vis-à-vis the regime and the referral by the regime of leading judiciary counselors to the Disciplinary Board?
A: The extensive popular show of sympathy with the judges and the independence of the judiciary, on Thursday, 27 April 2006, is the clearest evidence that the people stand by the just demands of the judges. For our part, we support the full independence of the judiciary and reject the hegemony of the executive power over all other powers.
Q: You may have noticed that during the recent period you personally were the object of talk by many media programs, writers, critics and journalists. We have of late witnessed a ferocious attack on your person and the MB, triggered by the publication by the Rose el-Yousef newspaper of statements attributed to you. Since the media scene has witnessed many rumors and hearsays about that subject, may we know the facts about those statements attributed to you?
A: This attack doesn’t affect us at all. I have indicated on several occasions that the talk in question was taken out of context and reveals the dishonesty of the reporter and his lack of respect for the ethics of his profession as well as the grudges held by the publisher.
Q: Why was there no strong defence mounted by the Muslim Brotherhood concerning this subject?
A: The MB is used to being targeted by many attacks from different quarters and at different fronts. We are preoccupied with working and building and have no desire to waste our time in retorting.
Q: What is the attitude of the MB with regard to the acts of violence and terror that take place on the Egyptian territory and to the terrorist organizations that speak in the name of Islam, like the ‘Mansoura’ group?
A: We reject the use of violence. We also refuse to have Islam blamed for whatever acts that occur. Those who hold such ideas should be countered through argument and the truth should be explained to them.
Q: We may have recently seen that Islamic groups that used to advocate violence are currently engaged in reviewing their attitudes and changing their ideas- an attitude which is approved by the regime. The layman tends to believe that it is a political game by the regime to confront the Muslim Brotherhood with other pro-regime religion-based groups. What do you think?
A: We are pleased to see all groups come back to the moderate centrist trend. We do not concern ourselves with whether this may be a game or a fact.