In their first non-clandestine Guidance Bureau meeting in 16 years, the Muslim Brotherhood announced that they will not run for more than 45-50 per cent of the seats in parliament during the upcoming elections.
The group made the announcement in a press conference at their new headquarters in the Muqattam area of Cairo, held at noon today after the group’s two-day Guidance Bureau meeting. The meeting had dealt with a number of issues, Brotherhood leaders told the press conference, including the future of their newly formed Freedom and Justice Party, and their role on Egypt's political landscape.
Mohamed Morsy, the group’s media spokesperson and member of the Guidance Bureau, revealed that the group has not yet decided on whether it will form coalitions with other political forces. However, he said that the Brotherhood is working with other political groups to establish a vision for Egypt’s political future.
Essam El-Erian, the group’s spokesperson, also confirmed that they will not field any candidates for president and they will not support any Brotherhood members who decide to run for the position. Saad El-Katatny, former head of the Muslim Brotherhood parliamentary bloc, added that the group’s decision is final and stressed that the group has not yet decided which presidential candidate, from outside the group, they would support.
El-Katani also revealed to Ahram Online that the Brotherhood's Guidance Bureau will approve the newly formed party's programme and internal regulations, but that once the party is launched its decisions will be its own, and not the Brotherhood's, since it will be deeped a separate entity,
The Muslim Brotherhood also announced that they have chosen Morsi as president of the new party, El-Erian as his deputy, and El-Katatny as secretary-general. The three will leave their positions in the Guidance Bureau and will be replaced with new members.
El-Erian added that the party will include members from all walks of Egyptian life, and will include Copts. Morsy also added that the Freedom and Justice Party will be a civil party with an Islamic basis, which fits all the stipulations of Egyptian law and the constitution. He added that the Muslim Brotherhood is an Islamic entity whose mandate includes political work that will be reflected in the work of the political party.
However, Morsy underlined that the party is independent of the Brotherhood, although the two will coordinate their efforts.