Conflict arises in Egypt opposition over ElBaradei’s leadership, Muslim Brotherhood
|Tuesday, March 2,2010 18:31|
CAIRO: Conflict within the so-called unified Egyptian opposition appears to be breaking. Refaat el-Said, the head of Egypt’s al-Tagama’a Party and the Member of the Quartet Coalition of the Opposition Parties, said there is a disagreement between the Coalition and the demands of Mohamed ElBaradei and the political movements that joined the National Assembly formed by the former IAEA chief, which calls for setting a new agenda with the demands of reform, under the chairmanship of ElBaradei.
El-Said explained that the one of the main differences is that ElBaradei believes that he is able to bring together and unite the Egyptian opposition movements under one umbrella, including the Muslim Brotherhood, which Said said is being rejected by the coalition of opposition parties, “as the quartet coalition rejects their views and attitudes.”
The coalition brings together the al-Wafd, al-Tagama’a, the Nasserist and the Democratic Front parties.
The Tagama’a chief said that the coalition rejects the Muslim Brotherhood`s view “generally” and his party rejects them “in particular.”
Said added that the Brotherhood “rejects the establishment of a civil state and the rights of women and the Copts.”
He said that the second disagreement with ElBaradei is that he does not “notice the differences between the movements that were gathered in a meeting at his house [a] few days ago, which is enough to raise disagreements between each others.”
He continued to say that “if ElBaradei agrees with the Muslim Brotherhood`s demands, this would brings us backward, at the time when we call for progress, through pluralism and respect for human rights.”
He cited the recent ruling by the General Assembly of the Council of State in February, when it refused to allow the appointment of women to the country’s top judicial advisory committee.
He added that the third disagreement with the vision of ElBaradei is that “we are moving in the direction of grassroots action, whose leaders’ demands should be united and not disputed, such as amending the Constitution and, therefore, ElBaradei has the right to nominate himself for the presidential elections of the Republic. We respect and appreciate this, but we have the right and the possibility also for our candidacy for the position within the coalition itself.”
Osama Ghazali Harb, the leader of the Democratic Front party, noted the disagreement within the coaltion over the existence of the Muslim Brotherhood as a political movement among the forces that united under the banner of ElBaradei. He pointed out that the Muslim Brotherhood “exercise political work and has an appearance marked by the parliamentary bloc, with about 88 members of the People`s Assembly, which sometimes provide good vision and, as agreeing with each other on the views, that could be rejected by the coalition.”
Ghazali continued to say that “I tend to [agree with] their integration within the opposition political forces and not with the idea of excluding them from politics, despite our differences within the Front,” adding that “with the Brotherhood`s lack of faith with the need to establish a civil state that respects the rights of women and Copts and supports diversity” this needs to be analyzed and understood before they are fully capable of being a part of the coaltion.
He added that at this stage “Egypt requires the unity of all political movements, including the Muslim Brotherhood.”
ElBaradei has largely been seen as the force behind the opposition movements’ coming together since his return to the country in February. He assumed the mantle of leadership within the opposition, and until Said’s statements, the coalition had appeared united.