Muslim Brotherhood leader Khairat Al-Shater warned that the way the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) is manipulating the political landscape in Egypt indicates that it has no real intention to hand-over power.
“For one thing, SCAF failed to dismiss the floundering government and to task the parliamentary majority to appoint a national consensus cabinet. Then, SCAF blatantly interfered in the management of the electoral process, and then again in the blocking of Constituent Assembly formation.
"What we’re witnessing is not true change, but an orchestrated effort to replicate the old regime. Indeed, there are specific attempts, clearly evident, to circumvent the will of the people, prevent any real change, and thwart endeavors to implement any real rejuvenation and renaissance programs in Egypt.”
In a press conference held Wednesday 18 April 2012, Al-Shater reiterated that he will put his full support behind the candidate of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) Dr. Mohamed Morsi.
Further, Al-Shater affirmed that he will devote all his efforts, expertise and resources to Dr. Morsi’s election campaign and the renaissance project.
Revisiting the issue of SCAF maneuvers, Al-Shater stressed that Egypt’s junta is looking for a President who shall represent it, which rings many deafening alarm bells.
He asserted that the Brotherhood will take part in this Friday’s million-man marches, which he considered the real comeback of the revolution.
At the conference, Al-Shater explained that criticism of SCAF’s performance in its management of the political landscape, in the transitional phase, does not apply to the Armed Forces.
He added that Egypt’s army is a national institution, respected by everyone and has the full backing of the Muslim Brotherhood and the FJP.
Al-Shater further stressed that criticism of the performance of Justice Farouk Sultan does not extend to the judiciary. He said the Muslim Brotherhood has great faith in the judiciary's role in building a real renaissance in Egypt and seeks to provide a greater degree of independence for the judiciary, adding: "We are here dealing with administrative decisions, not the judiciary or the verdicts they pass".
The Brotherhood leader also stressed that excluding him from the presidential race is a major crime at the national level, emphasizing that the issue is related to the future of Egypt.
“The Muslim Brotherhood’s first and main objective is to serve the country, build a political system based on justice, and release the energies of the people for the sake of the country's renaissance.”
Al-Shater criticized the performance of Justice Farouk Sultan, referring to the Muslim Brotherhood’s past experiences with him, describing them as bitter experiences.
"We gave Sultan the benefit of the doubt, thinking that, in light of all the recent changes, the people's awareness and the political movements’ oversight, he would change his approach. But unfortunately this did not happen.
"It is both funny and sad, at the same time, that I get disqualified as a result of verdicts issued by special military judiciary against which the whole Egyptian people revolted, for political activities that are no longer considered offences.
“From a political point of view, what happened yesterday and a few days ago show that the Mubarak regime is still governing this country, and that Farouk is still loyal to Mubarak. And I am not saying this out of anger, but out of fear for Egypt’s future.”
Furthermore, Al-Shater said: "We know that Mubarak’s loyalist private-interest groups are still present and influential in the administration of the country and the people. And they are still endeavoring to bring back the old guard.
“In fact, when we sought to establish a coalition government and were prevented, we realized what was happening. That is why we decided to field a candidate for the Presidency. Indeed, I should affirm here that any Islamist going for the Presidency is making great sacrifices, quite contrary to what people think.”
Moreover, Al-Shater asserted that the Brotherhood’s approach will continue to be a peaceful one, “There is no room for armed conflict, despite what some dubious Media falsely reported me as saying. The Brotherhood pursues Egypt’s interests wherever it may guide them”.
Finally, Al-Shater underscored the need to hold elections on time, as scheduled, sine it is one of the main goals of the revolution, pointing to the existence of a plot to prolong the transition period until the people despair of the revolution. He considered extending the transitional period a serious crime against the homeland and the people, expressing total rejection of the idea of postponement of presidential elections.