Hundreds protest 'Brotherhoodisation' of Alexandria after governor complaint

Ahram Online, Friday 3 May 2013

Days before anticipated government reshuffle, hundreds protest against 'Brotherhoodisation' of Alexandria as governor points to 'proof' of monopoly plot by Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood

File photo: Demonstrators take to Alexandria's Mediterranean Boulevard in January 2013 to protest against the "rule of the Muslim Brotherhood" (Photo: Yasmine Fathy)

Hundreds of activists demonstrated in front of the Alexandria governorate headquarters against the Muslim Brotherhood on Friday, days after the governor had openly accused the Brotherhood of seeking to control the governorate.

Governor Mohamed Abass had earlier this week said that his deputy, Hassan El-Prince, is loyal to the Brotherhood in an "unfair" manner.

Abbas accused El-Prince of favouring an NGO run by the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) by enabling it to distribute bread to the poor door-to-door, a move Abbas described as an "unacceptable violation."

The governor stressed that he had complained to the presidency regarding El-Prince, stressing his rejection of the practice of "using the governorate for the benefit of any particular political group."

"We're protesting because of what Governor Mohamed Atta Abass said earlier: that El-Prince is leading a real, drawn-up plot to entrench a Brotherhood monopoly of the city's institutions," Ehab El-Qastawi, member of a revolutionary group called Change, told Al-Ahram's Arabic-language daily while protesting on Friday.

Protesters marched on the Alexandria governorate from Al-Qaed Ibrahim Mosque, the meeting point for most protests in the city, chanting: "Alexandria is free," "We want El-Prince out," and "No to the Brotherhoodisation of state institutions."

President Mohamed Morsi, who has been in power for ten months, hails from the Muslim Brotherhood. Critics often argue that the Islamic group is the de-facto ruling body of Egypt, a claim that was played down many times by leading Brotherhood figures.

Several rumours have floated that El-Prince will replace Abbas in the cabinet and governor reshuffle expected within days.

Abbas, although he is not affiliated with the Brotherhood, was appointed by President Morsi as Alexandria governor.

El-Prince, a former FJP MP, was also appointed deputy governor of the coastal city by Morsi in October.

El-Qastawi warned that protests will escalate if El-Prince become governor.

Critics of President Morsi and the Brotherhood have charged that the Islamist group is attempting to fill key government administrative positions with its members and supporters in order to "brotherhoodise" the state.

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