Presidential candidate from the Muslim Brotherhood and the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), Khairat al-Shater gestures during an interview with Reuters at his office in Cairo (Photo: Reuters)
The success of the "Renaissance Project" in Egypt requires "qualified" and "enthusiastic" people, Muslim Brotherhood Deputy Guide Khairat El-Shater told a seminar audience Wednesday.
The "Renaissance Project" is the name President Mohamed Morsi adopted for his electoral programme. During June's elections, the project was presented to voters as a comprehensive solution to Egypt's misfortunes.
El-Shater, seen by many as the most powerful figure in the Muslim Brotherhood, was the group's initial presidential candidate. His name was originally associated with the "Renaissance Project" concept before he was replaced by Morsi following his elimination from the race.
Speaking at a seminar entitled “Islamists and Arab Revolutions” held under the auspices of Al-Jazeera’s news channel, El-Shater underlined the social justice aspect of the project.
"The people will only get enthusiastic about the Renaissance Project if they touch its fruits on a personal level," El-Shater explained. He continued adding that restructuring educational institutions and ensuring human development for each individual in society are key elements of a successful “renaissance.”
The 62-year-old businessman El-Shater does not hold any official position in the government, or the Freedom and Justice Party. Meanwhile, the "Renaissance Project" was first introduced in 1997 by the Muslim Brotherhood, proposing the restructuring of the entire Egyptian economy.
As part of the implementation of the project, President Morsi promised major reforms in five key areas (traffic, garbage collection, bread, security and fuel) to be fulfilled in his first 100 days in office. The president has fallen under increasing criticism for not fulfilling — even partially — any of his promises as the 100 days are about to elapse.
El-Shater had previously declared, in a TV appearance on Al-Jazeera earlier this year, that for Egypt to achieve its “renaissance” it would have to be based on an “Islamic frame of reference.”