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Muslim Brotherhood supports Egypt constitutional amendments

The Muslim Brotherhood has come out in favour of the proposed constitutional amendments, to be put to a referendum this month

Ahram Online, Saturday 12 Mar 2011
Khairat el Shater (
Newly released deputy chairman of the Muslim Brotherhood Khairat el Shater (Photo: Reuters)
According to Ikhwan Online, the Muslim Brotherhood’s official website, the Muslim Brotherhood are supporting the proposed constitutional amendments and are calling on everyone to participate in the referendum.

In an interview with Reuters, the Muslim Brotherhood said Egypt needs to prevent army rule from dragging on too long and called for the swift implementation of the constitutional amendments, to restart political life.

"The constitutional amendments are the most suitable, not the most ideal, solution for this transitional period that cannot drag on for too long," Brotherhood deputy Khairat Shater told Reuters in an interview late Thursday.

The Ikhwan Online website also stated that the Muslim Brotherhood is proposing the creation of a unified electoral list to include all political figures before the coming parliamentary elections. 

“The Brotherhood is emphasising that it does not seek the majority of seats in parliament,” the website statement read. The Islamist group aims to run for 35-40 per cent of the seats in the new parliament, Shater told Reuters. The Brotherhood also said it would not seek the presidency.

The internet statement also said that the Muslim Brotherhood believed that nominating a president before parliamentary elections will only create a new dictator.

Conversely, several intellectuals and political figures have called for delaying parliamentary elections, arguing that more time is needed for more diversity in political life in Egypt to emerge. They argued that if staged as early as June, as the constitutional amendments propose, the next parliamentary elections would be dominated by the Brotherhood and a reconstituted National Democratic Party (NDP).

The army has dissolved parliament, suspended the constitution and mapped a path to parliamentary and presidential elections within six months. Proposed constitutional amendments would include a clause that once elected, a new president would call on parliament to draft a new constitution. 

Consequently, those opposing proposed constitutional amendments argue that the Brotherhood and the NDP, expected to dominate parliament if elections are staged as early as June, would be the only political trends drafting the new constitution.

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