El-Erian: Dissolution of parliament will win FJP votes in upcoming polls

Ahram Online, Sunday 30 Sep 2012

At annual conference, Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party voices optimism about party's prospects in upcoming legislative polls, defends Egypt's Constituent Assembly

Essam El-Erian
Acting Chairman of the Freedom and Justice Party Essam El-Erian (Photo: Ikhwan Online)

Leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) gathered on Saturday at Cairo's Al-Azhar conference centre for the annual meeting of the FJP's supreme committee to discuss the party's future.

"The dissolution of parliament will only encourage Egyptians to vote for the FJP," said party chairman Essam El-Erian.

On 14 June, the High Constitutional Court declared Egypt's first post-revolution People's Assembly (the lower house of parliament) to be unconstitutional. The assembly, almost half the seats of which had been held by the FJP, was dissolved shortly afterward by order of Egypt's then-ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces.

On 22 September, Egypt's Supreme Administrative Court ruled against the reinstatement of parliament's Islamist-led lower house.

El-Erian called on attendees of Saturday's conference to prepare for upcoming parliamentary polls (expected sometime early next year), while ensuring that women and young people would play a larger role in Egypt's next parliament.

"The conspiracies against us will persist, yet no one will be able to rig a single vote from now on," El-Erian asserted.

El-Erian went on to accuse certain elements of trying to hinder Egypt's democratic transition by opposing the Constituent Assembly tasked with drafting a new constitution.

"But we will persevere until we formulate a new national charter," he added. "And we ask the assembly's critics to provide suggestions for the new constitution."

Calls to boycott Egypt's controversy-dogged Constituent Assembly have been made by prominent political figures such as former Nasserist presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabbahi and Constitution Party co-founder Mohamed ElBaradei, both of whom are critical of the assembly's high proportion of Islamist-leaning members.

"The FJP welcomes whoever wants to cooperate and Egypt's genuine opposition," said El-Erian. "In the end, whoever has an alternative vision can present it to the people, who will ultimately have the final word."

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