Abouel Fotouh: Brotherhood should not engage in partisan activity

Presidential hopeful Abdel Moneim Abouel Fotouh has said he rejects the formation of the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party, saying the group should have refrained from partisan activity.

Once a leading member of the Brotherhood, Abouel Fotouh has long defended its right to engage in public work.

In an interview with London-based newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat today, he pointed out that after Egypt's 25 January uprising he said the Brotherhood may form a party provided it did not become a branch of the Brotherhood, and that the Brotherhood would not set its policies or give it instructions.

“I still believe that it is in the interest of Egypt and religion that the Brotherhood remains out of partisan activity, and that it neither transforms into a party or forms one, " he said.

Abouel Fotouh also warned against prolonging Egypt's interim period, saying it threatens to devastate the country's economy and security.

He added that presidential elections should precede the writing of the new constitution, in accordance with the results of the March 2011 referendum on constitutional amendments. Many political powers, in contrast, have called for writing the constitution before the presidential poll.

Abouel Fotouh also said he was not surprised that Islamists won 70 percent of the seats in Parliament, but expects this percentage to decrease in coming elections.

He said that Salafis' political engagement will make them more pragmatic and moderate, while alienation would have made them more radical.


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