Essam El-Erian, of the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party (Photo: Reuters)
Leading Muslim Brotherhood figure Essam El-Erian has called for dialogue based on the 'roadmap' suggested by deposed former president Mohamed Morsi.
El-Erian, the vice president of the Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party, appeared in a pre-recorded video shown on Al-Jazeera TV channel in the early hours of Sunday, sending a message to what he called the "coup" leaders to recognise the "mistakes" made recently and to start a dialogue based on the political path declared by Morsi, who hails from the Muslim Brotherhood, prior to his ouster.
The video, which was recorded in an undisclosed place, is the sixth in a series of broadcasts on Al-Jazeera featuring El-Erian.
El-Erian, who remains at large although there is a warrant out for his arrest on charges of inciting violence, said "our nation is facing a real crisis caused by deviation from the democratic path and resorting to a coup at a time in which other nations have abandoned such measures."
The interim Egyptian government accused the Brotherhood of organising a terrorist plot against the state after the ousting of Mohamed Morsi from the presidency by the military in July amid mass protests against him.
Brotherhood leaders, including the Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie and second-in-command Khairat El-Shater, as well as hundreds of the group's members have been rounded up by police over the past month. A number have already been given prison sentences by military courts for convictions of violence against the military.
Hundreds have been killed, mostly from the pro-Morsi camp, in clashes with security forces and civilian opponents following his ouster.
El-Erian added that for dialogue to be possible, "coup leaders must first confess that they've sided with one particular faction against the other... this would mark a point of departure from this crisis that has destroyed Egypt's economy and jeopardised social cohesion."
"All illegitimate procedures after the coup must be retracted, all detainees must be released, all who took part in the killing of Egyptians must stand fair trial and the president must return to office."
He pointed out that "the difference between the roadmap declared by Morsi and that declared by defense minister Abdel Fatah El-Sisi is [that the latter involves] ousting the president and suspending the constitution", whereas, he maintains, "the rest of El-Sisi's roadmap is a copycat of Morsi's."
On 2 July Morsi announced in a televised speech that he'd form a coalition government, amend the constitution and hold parliamentary elections, but he did not address the demands of the masses who took to the streets on 30 June to call for early presidential elections and his overthrow.
The military issued a roadmap on 3 July in collaboration with various political groups and religious leaders, which included the removal of Morsi from his post, amending the 2012 constitution and holding new parliamentary elections followed by presidential elections.