Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood in contact with ex-ruling party officials

Dina Ezzat, Friday 27 Jan 2012

Sources from both sides confirm the talks aiming at sharing experiences

Archive photo of Mohamed Badie, the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood (Photo: Reuters)

Leading members of the influential Muslim Brotherhood (MB) and their political party FJP are opening channels of communication with some of former president Hosni Mubarak's cabinet ministers and members of the now defunct National Democratic Party (NDP).

The talks, according to independent sources, have included delegating envoys to meet some of the former key ministers who have exited Egypt upon the end of the Mubarak regime and had never come back.

Sources at the Muslim Brotherhood and the NDP, the ruling party under Mubarak, have confirmed the initial talks – initiated by the Brotherhood's political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), which has won close to half of the seats in parliament.  

Independent sources have also confirmed the contact and said that they are mostly conducted with influential former ministers under the regime of Mubarak who have access to the ins and outs of the Egyptian economy and the details of the files of social welfare.

The talks, according to several sources, are conducted upon the instruction of the Brotherhood strong man Khayrat Al-Shater, who is deemed by some in the organization and the FJP as a potential presidential candidate in four years.  

No deal in the making

The objective, according to one Brotherhood source, is to "understand some files and to listen to those who ran the country." The source, who spoke on conditions of anonymity, said that these talks should not be exaggerated or interpreted as a possible sign of any deals in the making between the Brotherhood and some of the key figures of the old regime.

"This is out of the question." Several MB sources said that these talks have absolutely nothing to do with the fate of the Mubarak trial.

However, one of the sources said that the Brotherhood leadership has been asked by a leading Arab capital to consider a 'dignified' arrangement that doesn’t undermine justice, but that would also take into consideration the old age and declining health of Egypt's ousted president. "But this is not something that we will decide; it is something for the court to decide and for parliament to attend to," he added.  

Meanwhile, a source at FJP said that any talks are conducted away from the party – suggesting that the operation of the Brotherhood and that of its political arm are independent. And according to a former NDP source, the communication is made on "more or less on an individual basis."

"I just received a call by one of the members of the MB who told me that he was keen to listen to my views on some political and economic matters; I said I did not mind," he stated.  

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