Liberal party demands Brotherhood reveal preferred presidential candidate

The Free Egyptians Party has demanded the Muslim Brotherhood and its Freedom and Justice Party reveal who they plan to support in the upcoming presidential contest.

The Islamist group and its party, which dominate around 43 percent of seats in the People's Assembly, have not yet yet disclosed which hopeful they will support.

In an interview with state-run news agency MENA, the head of the liberal party, Ahmed Saeed, also warned that the Brotherhood could write the constitution in a way that would allow it to rule the country for a long time without competition. Saeed did not elaborate on his claim.

For now, the Brotherhood is satisfied with controlling the Parliament and dominating almost 99 percent of the political scene without specifying its preferred presidential candidate, Saeed told state-run MENA. But he warned that when different factions join to draft a new constitution — a process in which the Brotherhood is expected to play a key role — the Islamist group, confident in its broad popularity, may make strip the executive branch of powers, leaving the president no more than a figurehead.

Saeed said he believes that if the FJP accomplishes this, it will then form a government and dominate executive and legislative authority.

Freedom and Justice Party President Mohamed Morsy denied on Wednesday reports that party officials had contacted potential candidates or agreed on whom they would support.

While casting his ballot during the second round of Shura Council election runoffs, Morsy added that the next president should have the same mentality of the majority of Egyptians and respect Sharia, or Islamic law.

Brotherhood sources also said on Wednesday that the group would not announce who it is backing until the end of the candidate registration period so as not to reveal too much in advance. The registration process is slated to begin on 10 March.

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