Mohamed Morsi (R), the President of the Muslim Brotherhood’s political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party (Photo: Reuters)
The Muslim Brotherhood (MB) is calling for holding presidential elections right after parliamentary polls – scheduled for November – and before drafting the new constitution.
The Islamist group issued the statement on Wednesday following a meeting between Chief of Staff Sami Anan and leaders of political parties.
According to the ruling military council, the presidential elections will take place either late in 2012 or halfway through 2013.
The Brotherhood reiterated that extending the transitional period – in which the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) would remain in power – could stir more chaos in the country.
The MB said the chronic security vacuum might further worsen should military rule remain longer than expected.
The group also believes such a situation could take a toll on the already deteriorating national economy and keep SCAF distracted from its primary objective, which is protecting the nation.
On Wednesday, six presidential hopefuls met and proposed a shorter interim period after which the ruling SCAF should hand power to an elected civilian president by April 2012.
The meeting was attended by candidates Mohamed Selim El-Awa, who read the statement, Hamdeen Sabahi, Abdel Moneim Abuol Fotouh and Hazem Salah Abu Ismail. Two of the candidates, former Arab League chief Amr Mussa and Judge Hisham El-Bastawisi, delegated representatives to the press conference announcing their demands.
Tantawi has been frequently criticised for many controversies, including military trials for civilians and SCAF’s so-called inability to fulfil the revolution’s as yet unmet demands.