Left to right: Saad el-Katatny, Mohamed Morsy, and Essam el-Erian. (Mohammed Abdel Ghani/Al-Masry al-Youm)
In their first non-clandestine Guidance Bureau meeting in 16 years, the Muslim Brotherhood announced that they will not run for more than 45-50 per cent of the seats in parliament during the upcoming elections.
The group made the announcement in a press conference at their new headquarters in the Muqattam area of Cairo, held at noon Saturday after the group’s two-day Guidance Bureau meeting. Earlier the Muslim Brotherhood had said it would contest 30% of the seats.
The meeting in Moqattam dealt with a number of issues, Brotherhood leaders told the press conference, including the future of their newly formed Freedom and Justice Party. The Brotherhood announced that Mohamed Morsy, the group’s media spokesperson and member of the Guidance Bureau, will be the president of the new party, Essam El-Erian his deputy, and Saad El-Katatny, former head of the Muslim Brotherhood parliamentary bloc, the secretary-general. The three will leave their positions in the Guidance Bureau and will be replaced with new members.
El-Erian, the group’s spokesperson, also confirmed that they will not field any candidates for president and they will not support any Brotherhood members who decide to run for the position. El-Katatny added that the group’s decision is final and stressed that the group has not yet decided which presidential candidate from outside the group they would support.
El-Katatny also revealed to Ahram Online that the Brotherhood's Guidance Bureau will approve the newly formed party's programme and internal regulations. But he said that once the party is launched its decisions will be its own, and not the Brotherhood's, since it will be a separate entity,
El-Erian added that the party will include members from all walks of Egyptian life, and will include Copts. Morsy also added that the Freedom and Justice Party will be a civil party with an Islamic basis, which fits all the stipulations of Egyptian law and the constitution. He added that the Muslim Brotherhood is an Islamic entity whose mandate includes political work that will be reflected in the work of the political party.