Twelve members from the Muslim Brotherhood’s Guidance Bureau presented a declaration calling for Mohamed Mahdi Akef to stay on in his current position as general guide. According to the group’s bylaws, Akef’s term will expire this coming January, and he has expressed his intention to resign from the post.
Sources from the Muslim Brotherhood said there have been multiple attempts to dissuade Akef from following through with his decision. The Guidance Bureau will discuss the issue with Akef during an upcoming meeting and will reiterate calls from Brotherhood leaders for Akef to stay in his position until internal issues have been resolved.
“Over the past few days, I met with several leaders from the group and from the Guidance Bureau at my home. They tried to dissuade me from following through with my decision,” Akef said. He maintained that he has made his final decision and will not continue on in his position, and will instead join the group’s rank and file.
Akef emphasized that he has rejected all the alternative proposals that were presented to him, which suggest that he stay on in his current position until after the presidential elections or until a successor is named.
The decision to quit will not create a crisis in the Guidance Bureau and in the group, Akef said, adding “The group is institutionalized and does not rely on one person even if he is the guide. This is because the institutional principles, as well as consultation and democracy, are applied to the group’s organizational structure. The first deputy general guide will act as the new guide and this will not create an imbalance.”
Akef was sentenced to death in the era of late President Gamal Abdel Nasser, a sentence which was later commuted to 20 years in prison. After serving his term, he moved to Germany, before returning to Egypt in the late 1980s. He was imprisoned again in the mid-1990s, and following his release he was named general guide in 2004, replacing the late Mamun el-Hudeibi.
Translated from the Arabic Edition.