Former Brotherhood Supreme Guide says Copt may head party

The Muslim Brotherhood will allow a Copt to be president of its planned political party if the candidate is accepted by the party’s General Assembly, said Mohamed Mahdi Akef, the Brotherhood's former Supreme Guide.

Akef told Al-Masry Al-Youm that the Brotherhood and its Freedom and Justice Party will be two different entities and the members of the latter — which will include Copts and women — will have the right to choose their president.

Akef added that he welcomes the Constitutional Declaration — the document, released this week, that will be the government's reference until a new one is drawn up after parliamentary elections — because it preserves the Islamic identity of the state. At a Brotherhood press conference in the city of Aga in the Daqahlia governorate on Thursday, Akef called for harder work and the removal of corrupt officials.

Abdel Rahman el-Barr, a member of the Brotherhood’s Guidance Bureau and the group's Mufti, said Egypt's revolution proved that the country's Muslims and Christians are united, and that both have the same rights and duties.

In related news, Saad al-Husseini, also a member of the Guidance Bureau, said that since the release of the Constitutional Declaration the Brotherhood has been getting ready for both the Shura Council and People’s Assembly elections.

Al-Husseini added that elections for the two houses of Parliament should be carried out simultaneously to save money and time.

Regarding the Constitutional Declaration, al-Husseini said the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces kept the current parliamentary quotas in place to avoid sparking controversy, leaving the matter to be resolved by the panel that will prepare the new Constitution after the parliamentary elections.

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