Brotherhood deny reports of internal elections next month
|Sunday, May 25,2008 19:18|
|By Safaa Abdoun|
The Muslim Brotherhood (MB) denied news reports claiming that the group is holding elections in its administrative offices in all governorates next month.
“The leadership is not aware of any internal elections taking place next month,” Mahmoud Ezzat, secretary general of the MB told Daily News Egypt.
“I don’t understand where these newspapers got their information. Who are their sources?” he added.
The MB holds elections in its administrative offices and in its organizational structure every four years, the last elections were held in 2005.
Reports announcing the alleged elections noted that these are “mid-term elections” on a number of seats in the administrative offices.
“Our elections take place every four years and we will not be having any mid-term elections,” said Badr Mohamed, MB media advisor, denying any election plans on the horizon.
Furthermore, representatives at the MB’s Supreme Guide’s office insist that there are no internal conflicts within the group that may drive the administrative office to hold elections. “Administrative offices will not have elections without our [the leadership and Supreme Guide’s office] notification,” said Mohamed.
On the other hand, Al-Masry Al-Youm quoted MB member Gamal Heshmat as saying that the group is “currently studying the possibility of holding partial elections inside the Guide’s Office or to appoint MB figures to fill the seats lately left empty, starting with those of Khayrat El-Shater and Mohamed Ali Bashar.”
Members suggest that the rumors surrounding the group are only proof of its success. “The group that has been around for more than 80 years is used to this type of false press, but we do not pay any attention to it and we are not even concerned with answering back,” said Ezzat.
“We are moving forward with our reform program and some people just want to take the attention away from our accomplishments,” he added.
“Any news regarding the MB is of great interest to the people so this drives the media to publish anything about them but the information may be inaccurate or completely fabricated,” said Diaa Rashwan from Al Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies.
“With the current political situation in Egypt and the emergency law being reviewed, the time is not suitable at all for any political party to hold internal elections, let alone the Muslim Brotherhood because of the security problems that may take place,” explained Rashwan.
The MB’s Supreme Guide’s office’s last elections took place in 1995, however, clashes with state security ended with more than 80 members arrested and put on trial in a military court. Mahmoud Hussein and Mohamed Morsi were then appointed as the office’s new members without elections.
In related news, authorities have arrested 13 members of the group around the country, a security official told AFP Sunday.
Nine members of the banned group were arrested on Sunday in the Nile Delta town of Abu Hammad in Sharqeya province “for trying to organize a speech at a mosque after prayers,” the official said.
Two others were detained in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria on Saturday and another two in the Nile Delta city of Menufiya on the same day, all accused of “belonging to an illegal organization.”