Leading Muslim Brotherhood reformer to run for president, in defiance of leadership

Ahram Online, Sunday 19 Jun 2011

Despite reports that he had been expelled from the Brotherhood for defying the group's stance on the presidential elections, reformist Abdel-Moneim Aboul-Fotouh confirms he will run as a candidate for the country's top job

Abdel-Moneim Aboul-Fotouh

Senior Muslim Brotherhood member Abdel-Moneim Aboul-Fotouh has announced his candidacy for Egypt's presidential elections, despite a declaration by the group that he had been dismissed from their ranks.

Aboul-Fotouh, secretary-general of the Arab Doctors' Union and a major figure in the group's reformist trend, insisted that he will not back down from his decision to run for in the presidential elections, which are expected to be held at the end of the year. Aboul-Fotouh made the announcement yesterday following a trip to London – the final stop in a European tour during which he met with Egyptian communities throughout Europe.

Aboul-Fotouh’s statement was belied, however, by a statement that appeared on the group's official website Ikhwanweb.

"Following lengthy debate by the Muslim Brotherhood’s Shura Council, a decision has been reached by a majority of votes on Saturday to dismiss Dr. Abdel Moneim Aboul-Fotouh who announced that he will run for president in defiance of the unanimous decision by the Muslim Brotherhood not to field candidates for the upcoming presidential elections," the statement read.

The decision was made during the Shura Council meeting, headed by the Brotherhood's Supreme Guide – and highest authority – Mohamed Badie.

However, when questioned about this Aboul-Fotouh brushed it aside as a rumour and said that he has not received any official notice of his expulsion from the Brotherhood.

He added that he is not worried about the Brotherhood’s disapproval and that he is confident he will win a lot of votes from members and supporters of the group during the elections, including Badie.

Aboul-Fotouh added that his campaign is focusing on more important matters such as supporting the democratic process, developing and modernising the educational system, encouraging scientific research and improving the economic situation of Egyptians.

He also pointed out that he is not concerned whether or not Western countries welcome an Islamist candidate running for the country’s top office, adding that his concern is gaining the approval of the Egyptian people, of all factions.

Yesterday, the Brotherhood’s Shura Council also accepted the resignation of senior member Mohamed Habib because of his past disagreements with the group’s policies.

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