Abul-Fotouh 'honoured' by Brotherhood's chants against him
Ahram Online, Sunday 23 Jun 2013
Ex-Brotherhood figure, who is now an opponent of President Morsi, says the chants at Friday's Islamist rally are expected as he 'does not take the Brotherhood's path'

The head of the Strong Egypt Party Abdel-Moneim Abul-Fotouh said on Sunday that he is "honoured" that the Muslim Brotherhood chanted against him at their rally in support of President Mohamed Morsi on Friday.

The former presidential contender, who used to be a member of the Brotherhood but left after the 2011 revolution, said at a party meeting in Alexandria, "they have to chant against me because I do not take their path and do not belong to them."

"President Morsi made a big mistake when he excluded all those who supported him in the second round of the presidential elections," Abul-Fotouh said.

Morsi, who hails from the Brotherhood, stood against ousted former president Mubarak's Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq in the second round of Egypt's presidential elections in 2012 and won with 51.7 percent of the votes.

Abul-Fotouh also reiterated a statement he made last week against calls by some of Morsi’s opponents that defence minister Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi take power from Morsi. He considered this "a deviation" from from the army's primary mission.

Hundreds of people protested at the defence ministry on Friday demanding that Morsi leaves office and hands executive power to El-Sisi.

Egypt is anticipating mass nationwide protests aimed at forcing Morsi leave office and call for early presidential elections on 30 June, the anniversary of his inauguration.

Calls for protests were made by the Rebel campaign, a movement launched in May to collect signatures in favour of Morsi stepping down.

The campaign has been supported by major opposition groups, including Abul-Fotouh's party and the umbrella opposition group the National Salvation Front (NSF). The groups have rejected calls for the military to take power.

Abul-Fotouh stressed that the protests should remain peaceful "no matter how severe the pressures are."