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Muslim Brotherhood leader to step down
Muslim Brotherhood leader to step down
The leader of Egypt’s most powerful opposition group, the Muslim Brotherhood, is planning to step down next year
Sunday, March 29,2009 12:36
TimeTurk

The leader of Egypt"s most powerful opposition group, the Muslim Brotherhood, is planning to step down next year.

"I do not intend to run again for the post of Muslim Brotherhood guide-general after the end of my term in January," Mohamed Mahdi Akef told IslamOnline.net on Saturday, March 28.

"This is not new. I have already announced this before."

Akef said he decided to step down as the Muslim Brotherhood leader as he turned 81.

"This is a personal decision," he said.

"I think it is high time to give up any commanding position at this age and become an ordinary Brotherhood member.

"New elections will be held to elect a new guide-general," said Akef.

The Muslim Brotherhood"s statute allows the election of the group"s leader for two 6-year terms.

Akef was elected the Muslim Brotherhood guide-general in 2004 for a 6-year term following the death of Ma"mun al-Hudaybi.

He oversaw the Brotherhood"s campaign for the 2005 parliamentary elections, in which the group won 88 seats of the 454-member lower house of parliament.

The Muslim Brotherhood has championed democratic means to introduce comprehensive reforms in Egypt. But Egyptian police have repeatedly cracked down on its members and other pro-reform protesters.

Unprecedented

Mohamed Habib, the Brotherhood"s deputy leader, said the decision to elect a new leader was up to the group"s Shura (consultative) council.

"The Muslim Brotherhood is an organizational group," he told IOL.

"If any leader wants to step down, he has to submit a request and the Shura Council would decide."

The guide-general is elected by the group"s Shura Council, which has 100 members.

Habib denied that Akef"s decision to retire has been discussed by the Brotherhood members.

Under the group"s statue, the Shura Council is convened to elect a new guide-general if the incumbent died, resigned or failed to take up his duties.

The election must be by a two-third majority.

"Stepping down is a new theme for the Egyptian political powers," Amr El-Shobky, an expert on political movements, told IOL.

"If Akef stepped down, it would be a historical move for the Muslim Brotherhood."

The Source


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