File photo: Mohamed Abu El-Ghar, head of the Egyptian Social Democratic Party (Photo: Ahram)
The way out of Egypt's highly divided political strife is to release deposed president Mohamed Morsi, says the head of the Egyptian Social Democratic Party (ESDP) Mohamed Abu El-Ghar in a televised interview.
Morsi should "return home, unless he is required to stand before justice," Abu El-Ghar asserted to Al-Arabiya channel late on Friday.
The former president has been held in a "safe place," to quote the interim leaders, and has not been seen in public since his ouster on 3 July. His supporters have been staging demonstrations nationwide calling for his release and reinstatement after the army removed him amid mass protests against his rule.
On Monday, 53 people were killed and over 400 injured when pro-Morsi supporters, mainly from the Muslim Brotherhood, clashed with the armed forces at the Republican Guard headquarters in Cairo where they believed Morsi was held.
In his interview, Abu El-Ghar said that releasing the former president should be part of a "reconciliation" deal to be reached with the Brotherhood, from which Morsi hails.
He added, however, that the Brotherhood should acknowledge that those who went out on 30 June protests demanding that Morsi step down are many times the people who voted for him a year ago.
Similarly, constitutional expert and leading member of the ESDP Mohamed Nour Farahat called for a clear statement on Morsi's legal position.
If he is not accused of anything, he should be released, he said.
Farahat wrote on his official Facebook page that if Egypt is to be a state of law, it should avoid "exceptional measures... It is either [Morsi] is accused of a charge that independent judges would investigate or otherwise he should be released immediately."
The National Alliance to Support Legitimacy, led by the Brotherhood, was recently formed to support Morsi's "legitimate" right to complete his presidential term until 2016. They have been staging a sit-in at Cairo's Rabaa El-Adawiya Mosque since 28 June.
Abu El-Ghar also said that the National Salvation Front (NSF), a major umbrella opposition group to the Brotherhood formed in November 2012, will hold a meeting on Saturday to decide on whether it would now dissolve itself. He said though that he supports its continuance.
Abu El-Ghar praised the choices for the new cabinet, including liberal economist Hazem El-Beblawi as prime minister and social democrat Ziad Bahaa El-Din as deputy prime minister – because they were chosen based on their competence and not political affiliation.
The main criticism against the interim constitutional declaration, he says, however, is that the NSF, of which his party is a member, was not consulted on it.
Although they made clear their criticisms of the declaration, they agree on it to pass through the current phase.
Following Morsi's ouster, Adly Mansour, head of the High Constitutional Court, was sworn in as interim president. Egypt is currently anticipating a new cabinet after the appointment of the prime minister and his deputy.