Brotherhood willing to particiapte in a coalition government, says deputy leader El-Shater
Ahram Online, Thursday 20 Oct 2011
Coalition may be best option during unstable transition period, says El-Shater; blames culture of self-interest fostered during Mubarak era for splits in Brotherhood-led Democratic Alliance


The Muslim Brotherhood is willing to participate in a coalition government after next month's parliamentary elections, senior member Khairat El-Shater told Al-Jazeera on Wednesday.

El-Shater, deputy leader of the Brotherhood, said no political force would be able to govern the country alone during this unstable transitional period and therefore a coalition government may be the best solution.

El-Shater also weighed in on the recent troubles faced by the Brotherhood-led Democratic Alliance, which began with 30 political parties and now has only twelve, after more than half of the parties decided to pull out. The parties in the Alliance were expected to field a unified candidate list for the upcoming elections set for 28 November.

However, El-Shater said Mubarak is to blame for the crisis the Alliance is facing because he created a culture of self-interest rather than a will to work together for the benefit of the nation. He also said most political forces lack experience on how to run for elections and therefore it was difficult for the Alliance to know which candidates would be the most popular and more likely to win.

El-Shater, also denied the Brotherhood is in conflict with Salafists – most of whom also withdrew from the Alliance. He said it is the media which tries to create problems between the two. He also accused the media of using the Salafists to scare people - both in Egypt and abroad – about the rise of Islamists, which is similar to the tactics used by the Mubarak regime against the Brotherhood.

El-Shater was jailed under the Mubarak regime from 2006 until his release after the revolution. He was also arrested four times beginning in the early 1990s, bringing his total jail time in the Mubarak era to 10 years.

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