Islamist politician proposes new reconciliation initiative

Ahram Online , Sunday 31 Aug 2014

Former MP Mohamed El-Omda suggests the constitution be amended and the protest law revoked as part of a plan to bridge the divide between the Brotherhood and the current government

Former MP Mohamed El-Omda (Photo:Al-Ahram)
Egyptian politician Mohamed El-Omda has proposed a new reconciliation initiative to bring together the Muslim Brotherhood and the current government.
El-Omda is an Islamist-leaning former MP who was released from prison last week on bail after nearly a year in detention. He faces charges of inciting violence in 2013 following the ouster of president Mohamed Morsi.
El-Omda gave details of his reconciliation plan at a press conference held at his home in Kom Ombo in Aswan governorate on Sunday, saying that President El-Sisi’s term be should be considered a transitional period to "reach to an understanding between the army and the Muslim Brotherhood."
El-Omda said he had not rejected Morsi’s legitimacy as president, but “the current circumstances in Egypt force us to act accordingly.”
Morsi was ousted in July last year after mass protests against his rule. His Brotherhood group have since been ruled a terrorist organisation.
"This initiative is proposed in attempt to save the country," El-Omda said.
He described his initiative as comprising seven elements: a return to the democratic path; lifting the ban on the Muslim Brotherhood and the rest of the Islamist current; considering El-Sisi’s presidency to be a transitional period to build cooperation between the Brotherhood and the army; setting up a mechanism in order to amend the constitution; amending the parliamentary elections law; canceling a recent law which restricts protests; restoring the “rights of martyrs” since the 2011 revolution by the formation of an unbiased fact-finding committee.
El-Omda has said that he will propose his initiative to both Islamist parties and to the presidency, with the help of other public figures that have proposed similar initiatives previously. He said that the terms of the initiative could be amended in order to reach a consensus.
Since Morsi’s ouster, several reconciliation initiatives have been proposed, including attempts by Islamist political parties Nour and Al-Wasat and by political figure Hassan Nafai.
The Muslim Brotherhood was designated a terrorist group last December, and its political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party, was formally disbanded by an administrative court ruling several weeks ago.
During the press conference, El-Omda insisted that the initiative was his alone and that the Brotherhood had not been involved in its formation. He also said that he had not spoken with Brotherhood members about the initiative during his imprisonment.
El-Omda was released on bail last week after being detained for over a year for inciting violence in clashes that took place in Bein El-Sarayat district in Giza in July 2013, when 16 people were killed.
Leading Brotherhood figures Halmi El-Gazzer and Abdel-Moneim Abdel-Masqoud were detained on the same charges, and also released on bail pending further investigations.
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