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Egypt's secular forces condemn US support for Muslim Brotherhood candidate

Secular parties express discontent with Muslim Brotherhood and reject what they claim is Washington's endorsement of the Islamist group

Ahram Online, Saturday 23 Jun 2012
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Egyptian secular and liberal parties sounded dissatisfaction over the reported support of the US for Muslim Brotherhood's presidential candidate, Mohamed Morsi, but affirmed they would accept the results of the elections due to be announced Sunday.

During a press conference Saturday, representatives of the Free Egyptians Party, the Democratic Front Party, the Revolution Continues Coalition, the Tagammu Party and the Kifaya Movement opened fire on the Brotherhood, voicing suspicion over the group's sudden change of stance towards the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF).

The conference came after the Brotherhood announced Friday its concessions to revolutionary movements, guaranteeing their representation in both the government-to-be and the Constituent Assembly, in order to form a unified front against SCAF's alleged attempt to hold onto power.

The speakers, mostly parliamentarians, condemned the current scene in Tahrir Square, where tens of thousands of Islamists together with other revolutionary movements are staging a sit-in against SCAF's addendum to the March 2011 Constitutional Declaration, which gives the miltiary council unprecedented authorities, and against the dissolution of parliament's lower house, the People's Assembly, describing the scene as "the monopolisation of the revolution."

"Those who are now attacking SCAF were the first to embrace an alliance with them," said Ahmed Said, a member and co-founder of the Free Egyptians Party, confirming that liberal parties have refused military rule since day one.

Said further blamed the current "dilemma" on the Brotherhood approved Constitutional Declaration announced by SCAF on 30 March 2011, that put elections before the drafting of a new constitution.

Speaking also at the press conference was politician and co-founder of the Democratic Front Party Osama Ghazali Harb who attacked the Muslim Brotherhood's attempt to gather people in Tahrir Square, describing it as "a behaviour that only reflects their fear and an attempt to manipulate the election result by force."

Ghazali Harb recently announced his support for Ahmed Shafiq in the elections second round run-off.

Several speakers at the press conference further condemned what they believe to be US intervention in Egypt's domestic affairs. Harb claimed the US was pressuring SCAF to hand over power to the Muslim Brotherhood.

"We refuse that the reason someone wins is because he is backed by the Americans," said Harb demanding that the Brotherhood should refuse US intervention.

"The revolution will continue until we break free of military rulie," added parliamentarian Mustafa El-Gendy.

Founder of the Kifaya Movement, George Ishak, however, expressed his optimism over the coming period, adding that "a third political current, neither affiliated with religious groups nor the military, will pave its way."

Ishak claimed that an appeal against the Constituent Assembly will be looked at Tuesday, underlining the need to form a "real" constituent assembly that will replace the current "disappointing" Constitutional Declaration and write a constitution that "truly represents Egypt's identity."

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