SCAF entices Brotherhood not to run presidential candidate

Egypt’s military leaders have offered to allow the Muslim Brotherhood to form a new cabinet if the group refrains from nominating a presidential candidate, Brotherhood sources told Al-Masry Al-Youm.

The same sources added that the Brotherhood wants to establish a hybrid presidential-parliamentary governing system, while the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces wants to keep the existing presidential system so it can control the president.

However, Sayed Nazily, a member of the group's Shura Council, said the offer was never made.

On Tuesday, Al-Masry Al-Youm quoted another council member, Saad Emara, as saying the SCAF had agreed to allow the Brotherhood to form a new cabinet on the condition that the military be allowed to appoint two deputies to the prime minister and 10 other ministers. The group rejected the proposal, he said.

The Brotherhood’s Guidance Bureau met on Wednesday to discuss the group’s next move. Freedom and Justice Party head Mohamed Morsy briefed the group on the meeting he had with SCAF representatives the day before.

Also during the meeting, Mohamed Hussein, the secretary general, said the group is being subjected to a ferocious media campaign by its political adversaries. Hussein said the campaign against the Brotherhood will fail, like all former ones that had been launched against the organization.

The FJP’s parliamentary bloc will hold a press conference on Thursday to announce whether or not it will continue to support Prime Minister Kamal al-Ganzouri's government.

On Tuesday, several young Brotherhood members were distributing leaflets in the street describing what they say are obstacles to the handover of power to civilians. The leaflets include accusations that the SCAF wants to abort the revolution and rig the upcoming presidential election.

“This is an escalation against the SCAF because we do not want it to continue to rule the country,” Ali Khafagui, the FJP youth committee secretary in Giza, said on Wednesday.

Amr Fadel, another young member of the group, said, “We distributed the leaflets in several governorates, including Cairo and Alexandria, to clarify the Brotherhood’s vision and position, particularly since it has been targeted by smear campaigns in the media, which claim the Brotherhood dominated the constitution-writing assembly.”

He added: “We go down to the streets in the evenings to sit with the people and explain the Brotherhood's position.”

Meanwhile, Mohamed Nour, spokesperson for the Salafi-oriented Nour Party, said his party rejects the SCAF’s intervention in choosing members of the constituent assembly.

“If the SCAF calls for the adoption of a presidential system — which we and the FJP reject — then we can sit down together and discuss it with [the council]. But if it imposes [the system] forcibly, we will wholly reject it,” he said.

“We have agreed with political powers on a hybrid presidential-parliamentary system,” Emara, the Brotherhood Shura Council member, said. “We don't want to create another dictator.”

Asked what the group would do if the SCAF insists on a presidential system, he said: “We can't talk about the future. We'll cross that bridge when we come to it.”

“Several different points of view were brought up at the Shura Council meeting,” he went on. “All options are open regarding the presidency. Discussions will continue, and we will make a conclusive decision when we put the matter to a vote [next] Tuesday.”

Translated from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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