Following an Islamist landslide in Egypt’s first post-Mubarak parliamentary polls, a Muslim Brotherhood (MB) official has declared the so-called “supra-constitutional principles” – proposed last month by the former government of prime minister Essam Sharaf – to be “dead,” warning that anyone who attempted to revive them “would die with them.”
At a press conference on Sunday, MB Secretary-General Mahmoud Hussein said the raft of principles, dubbed the “El-Selmy Communiqué” since it was initially proposed by former deputy prime minister Ali El-Selmy, had “died” with the resignation of the Essam Sharaf government on 21 November.
Most parties and groups across the political spectrum had fiercely opposed the proposed set of principles, especially Islamists who expect to win a majority of seats in parliament – thus giving them considerable influence over the drafting of any future constitution. Political forces also charged that the principles granted unparalleled powers to Egypt’s ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces.
In an effort to appease critics’ fears of an Islamist-led government, Hussein went on to state that there was “no such thing as theocracy” in Islam, saying that no examples of such could be found in Islamic history. Instead, he asserted, the MB sought to create a “civil state with an Islamic reference point.”
He also denied claims that the MB, once in power, would crack down on Egypt’s tourism sector, stressing the group’s desire for a thriving local tourism industry “that actually benefits the Egyptian people and propels the economy forward.”