Al Katatny: Muslim Brotherhood Practices Genuine Democracy
Monday, September 25,2006 00:00
By Minia Online/Ikhwanweb

In his interview with Minia Online following the recent elections to choose new leadership for the MB Parliamentary Bloc which took place yesterday, Dr. Saad Al Katatny, Bloc’s president’s elect, stressed that Muslim Brotherhood practices real and genuine democracy in all its internal structures and governing bodies from the bottom to the top hierarchy.

Al Katatny explained that internal elections within MB are usually done in secrecy without media attention due to security measures and to avoid police intimidations and harassment. However, since parliament members are protected by legal immunity from being arrested, therefore, they were able to conduct the elections in public. Police routinely arrests Brotherhood members if they assemble in any gathering since the MB is considered outlawed according to government’s decision in 1954. The last open elections to choose members of the MB Executive Bureau (Guidance Bureau) in the nineties resulted into the arrest of the group’s entire Bureau’s members who came to vote that day. Since then, the group has been apprehensive of publicizing its internal elections although such elections have been occurring.

Al Katatny also pointed out that the elections of MB parliamentary Bloc leadership is unprecedented in the history of the Egyptian Parliament which had never witnessed an elections of parliament’s leadership for any of the political parties ever represented in parliament, including the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) whose leaders in parliament are always picked by the president and imposed upon the rest of parliament members.

According to Al Katany, the recent elections are clear indication of the Muslim Brotherhood’s genuine commitment to democracy as one of the pillars of the group relies on to achieve freedom and reform for the rest of society.

Al Katatny expressed his understanding of PA speaker’s decision not to attend the elections, citing “political reasons” since his attendance can be considered an implied recognition of the Bloc’s representation of the Muslim Brotherhood, which in the government’s mind does not exist, so ironic that it won 20% of Parliament’s seats.

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