Dr Essam El-Erian, head of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) political bureau, states the group had to expel Abdel Moneim Aboul-Fotouh for having thrown his name in as a candidate in Egypt’s upcoming presidential elections. Aboul-Fotouh completely contradicted the Brotherhood’s announcement that they would not field a candidate.
Egypt’s official state media, the Middle East News Agency (MENA) quoted El-Erian as saying that Abdel-Moneim Aboul-Fotouh was personally present at the Brotherhood’s Shura Council meeting held on 10 February, in which they decided against fielding a candidate in the next presidential elections.
The Brotherhood has been frowned upon after rumours emerged that they would participate in presidential elections, which El-Erian, who also holds the position of vice chairman of the Justice and Freedom Party (the political offspring of the Brotherhood), refutes.
He asserts that after Mubarak ‘s ouster, the Brotherhood reaffirmed their decision regarding the presidential elections because it continues to reject the idea that any one political force should monopolise power in what it sees as a critical stage in the country’s development.
El-Erian added that the Brotherhood also took a non-binding position that a future president should be non-partisan and, furthermore, that any member who wants to run for president should resign from the MB.
Since Aboul-Fotouh decided to run for president, El-Erian concluded, the Shura Council of the Brotherhood decided by a vote of 84 to dismiss him from the group, with a minority abstaining from voting.
Aboul-Fotouh does have a month to appeal if he rescinds his candidacy, according to El-Erian.
Despite the Brotherhood’s decision to dismiss Aboul-Fotouh, El-Erian maintained that, on a personal level, he enjoys a close friendship with Aboul-Fotouh, whom he described as an “honourable man and a patriotic symbol.”
Aboul-Fotouh officially announced his candidacy for the president of the Arab Republic of Egypt last Saturday upon his return from a trip to England.