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Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Muslim Brotherhood Drowning: Ex-presidential Adviser

Muslim Brotherhood “Drowning”: Ex-presidential Adviser
19/02/2013 By Ahmed Imbabi
http://www.asharq-e.com/news.asp?section=1&id=32951

Cairo, Asharq Al-Awsat—Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat yesterday, former
Egyptian presidential adviser Dr. Khaled Alam El-Din revealed that the
“Muslim Brotherhood are drowning” in terms of their administration of the
state. The ultra-conservative Alam El-Din, who is a member of the Salafi
Nour Party, was fired from his position as presidential adviser on
environmental affairs by Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi amid allegations
of abuse of office.

Speaking following his controversial dismissal, Dr. Alam El-Din said, “We
tried to help them (the Brotherhood) but they refused, we then proposed that
they form a government by themselves so that they solely bear responsibility
and they also refused this.”

The ruling Freedom and Justice Party, the political wing of the Muslim
Brotherhood, responded strongly to Dr. Alam El-Din’s accusations, with
Freedom and Justice Party spokesman, Dr. Murad Ali, saying “We are focusing
on the parliamentary elections. Our difference of opinion is natural and not
surprising.”

This contentious division amongst Egypt’s Islamists is reportedly over the
Supreme Constitutional court’s rejected of an election law presented by the
Islamist-dominated parliament. The court has called for a number of
amendments to the law in a move that could delay the forthcoming elections
and prolong the tense political atmosphere taking root in the country.

Egypt’s political scene is concerned over the unprecedented violence seen in
the country since the January 25 revolution, as well as the divisions within
the ranks of the country’s Islamist political forces, particularly the
Salafi Nour Party and the Muslim Brotherhood and presidency. Alam El-Din’s
dismissal became even more contentions after presidential adviser Bassem
Zarka—also a member of the Nour Party—resigned in solidarity with his fellow
presidential aide. Alam El-Din appeared alongside Zarka in a televised press
conference on Monday during which he denied abusing office and broke down in
tears, demanding an apology from the Egyptian president. The former
presidential adviser characterized his dismissal as “political.”

Responding to a question put to him by Asharq Al-Awsat at this press
conference, Dr. Alam El-Din said, “The Muslim Brotherhood are drowning, they
cannot deal with the challenges facing the country.”

He asserted that the Nour Party “is extending a helping hand to the
Brotherhood in order to rescue the country and save them (the Brotherhood)
at the same time, until they grasp the danger of their practices which are
only serving to increase the political crisis in the Egyptian street” adding
“however they (the Brotherhood) do not accept this.”

He also revealed that the Nour Party had proposed to withdraw from
government so that the Muslim Brotherhood would be solely responsible for
decision-making and resolving the current situation, however the Freedom and
Justice Party rejected this.

Dr. Alam El-Din emphasized that he and Bassem Zarka had agreed to resign
from their posts as presidential advisers more than two weeks in protest to
the manner in which the presidential advisory body was being utilized. He
said, “We were not being consulted in any way, while whatever actions we
took were criticized.” He also clarified that Zarka had requested that they
postpone this measure until they could present it to the Nour Party
presidential council for approval.

Responding to a question regarding whether this Nour Party—Muslim
Brotherhood dispute is over the Salafists position towards dialogue with the
opposition National Salvation Front, Alam El-Din stressed that the national
dialogue initiative was being welcomed by all national political forces. He
added that the Nour Party had cooperated and coordinated with the
Brotherhood over the constitution and constitutional referendum, confirming
that “we are driven by legitimate interests and the interests of the country
as a whole, and they (the Brotherhood) are well aware of this.”

Freedom and Justice Party spokesman, Dr. Murad Ali, told Asharq Al-Awsat
that any tension or division among the country’s Islamist forces does not
involve the Muslim Brotherhood’s political wing. He confirmed that the major
parties involved in this are the presidency and the presidential advisory
body. He also clarified that the Freedom and Justice Party is only concerned
with ensuring that innocent people are not falsely condemned and that
corruption—if uncovered—is not swept under the carpet.

Commenting on the escalating divisions between the Freedom and Justice Party
and the Nour Party, Dr. Ali said that such differences of opinion are
natural and not surprising. He added that the Nour Party previously competed
against the Muslim Brotherhood in the previous parliamentary and
presidential elections which did not hinder future cooperation and
coordination between the two parties.

As for the reservations expressed by the Freedom and Justice Party towards
the Nour Party’s meeting with opposition National Salvation Front and
whether this is a reason for the recent division, Murad said, “We do not
judge anybody else’s intentions.”

Responding to the Nour Party’s proposal to withdraw from government, leaving
government responsibility solely on the Muslim Brotherhood’s shoulders, Dr.
Ali told Asharq Al-Awsat: “How can we form a government, then change it 40
days after the parliamentary elections?” He added that Egyptian society and
the international community would view continuous changes in Egypt’s
government a as a sign of instability. He also clarified that the Freedom
and Justice Party is focused on preparing for the forthcoming parliamentary
elections, adding that this is something that all national political parties
should be doing.

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