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FJP leader calls for national reconciliation, ‘Holding Flowers’ Friday

Senior Freedom and Justice Party figure Mohamed El-Beltagi calls for a national unity demonstration as beleaguered constitution is approved in national poll

Ahram Online, Sunday 23 Dec 2012
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Senior figure of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) and ex-MP Mohamed El-Beltagy called for a demonstration of national reconciliation Friday ahead of the imminent ratification of the contentious draft constitution, approved by a national referendum and which has heightened the conflict between the Islamist bloc with its opposition.

“Congratulations to all of us for finaliing the referendum and congratulations for having a constitution. Differences in stances should not drive us to animosity, which would be detrimental to our nation. Let us turn the pages of the past and start dialogue about our future. Let us announce next Friday as national reconciliation day, where we demonstrate holding flowers and join hands together, opening a new page in our history,” El-Beltagi said Sunday afternoon on his Facebook account.

According to tallied results, the draft constitution has been approved in the referendum by 64 per cent, after two election phases taking place 15 and 22 December.

The National Salvation Front, an opposition umbrella group led by former presidential candidates Mohamed ElBaradei, Hamdeen Sabbahi and Amr Moussa, announced Sunday it will still pursue “all possible peaceful means” to annul the constitution, which it describes as illegitimate and unrepresentative of all factions of the country.

The disputed constitution has widen the conflict between the Muslim Brotherhood and its supporters and their opponents, the latter believing that the influential Islamist group and its Salafist allies are focused on seizing political power.

The FJP hopes that the passing of the constitution might allow for an accord with the opposition.

Eight were killed in deadly clashes between supporters and opponents of President Mohamed Morsi, who hails from the Brotherhood, in front of the presidential palace in Cairo earlier this month, electrifying the build-up to the referendum on the constitution.

The official results of the referendum are slated to be announced by the Supreme Electoral Commission Monday.

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