Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood rejects new constitutional declaration

Ahram Online , Tuesday 9 Jul 2013

Embattled Muslim Brotherhood issues statement rejecting new constitutional declaration outlining upcoming transitional period, describes document as 'illegitimate'

Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood rejected a constitutional declaration issued by Egypt's interim President Adly Mansour on Monday laying down a political roadmap for Egypt's transitional phase following former president Mohamed Morsi's ouster by the military last week amid mass demonstrations against him.

The Brotherhood, to which Morsi is affiliated, described Mansour as Egypt's "alleged president" and declared the latter's constitutional declaration illegitimate.

The declaration, which was announced late Monday, consists of 33 articles. It will automatically expire when an amended version of the suspended constitution is approved via popular referendum.

The transitional period will last for at least six months, during which a new parliament and president will be elected.

"This declaration proves that the dictatorial army junta doesn't respect the popular will and sees itself as the guardian of the people, when it is in fact a small group prohibited from intervening in politics and has thus committed multiple crimes," the Brotherhood said in a statement.

After the military intervention that deposed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood immediately declared the move a "military coup," although millions of Egyptians had supported the move and the call for snap presidential polls.

While the roadmap was discussed with several opposition groups, some reservations were voiced, including criticisms that the interim president's powers are too wide.

In its statement, the Brotherhood criticised opposition politicians, saying that they had paved the way for a military coup. The group went on to describe them as "fickle opportunists" who backed the new declaration while having opposed one issued by Morsi – when he was the legitimately elected president – last November.

Morsi's November declaration was a sore point in his one-year rule. In it, Morsi gave himself wide powers and immunity from judicial oversight, effectively entrenching bitter polarisation in Egyptian politics, one of the main reasons millions of Egyptians had demonstrated in demand of early elections on 30 June.

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