The April 6 Youth Movement has launched a scathing attack on the Muslim Brotherhood, likening it to the National Democratic Party (NDP) which was dismantled following last year’s popular uprising.
The influential movement, which played a key role in the mass protests that unseated autocratic leader Hosni Mubarak in February 2011, has also questioned the legitimacy of a newly-approved constitution that was written by Islamists.
According to unofficial results, 64% of the Egyptians backed the new constitution which stirred controversy, after opposition walked out from the constituent assembly accusing the Islamists of dominating the process and drafting articles that will lead to autocracy.
"The April 6 joined the opposition after it witnessed the Islamist current’s unwillingness to cooperate during its participation in the constituent assembly and its meetings with Islamists," Ahmed Maher, who co-founded the movement, told a news conference on Tuesday.
“The percentage of those who voted in favour of the new charter represents less than one third of those who have the right to vote, and that is a very low turnout. Moreover, mass violations have been reported and still need to be investigated. Thus, the constitution lacks popular legitimacy.”
The violations included opening polling stations hours after deadline, directing voters to back the new constitution, allowing Islamist monitors to enter polling stations while banning opposition, interrupting the flow of voters in areas known for being anti-Islamists and counting votes before the closure of polling stations, according to 6 April member Mohamed Kamel.
Another member also claimed that some of his comrades were assaulted and had their cameras confiscated while documenting what he described as “vote rigging”.
“The Muslim Brotherhood has turned into a new NDP, using the same arguments in their defence of the referendum,” added Maher, referring to statements made by the Brotherhood in which they said that all what counts is the result of ballot boxes.
“The movement will coordinate with other political parties to work on abolishing the new constitution. The next 25 January will be a day of mass action against the new constitution.”