(Image source: The Swash)

 

BY JESSICA SIBERT

 

ANCHOR MEGAN MURPHY

 

After months of refusing to enter a candidate for the Egyptian presidency, the Muslim Brotherhood is now facing criticism for suddenly changing its mind and nominating one of its own. One political analyst tells CNN why.

 

“One of the principle reasons for doing so is that the Muslim Brotherhood does not believe the secondaries will win, and that another Islamist will win…”

 

The candidate, a wealthy businessman named Khairat al-Shater, was allowed to run in the elections to replace ousted leader Hosni Mubarak only after Egypt’s military dropped two of al-Shater’s convictions on Monday. A blogger for the Arabist says the decision was certainly time-sensitive.

 

“In short, the MB went ahead with this decision because it sees itself as on the brink of actually wielding power for the first time in its history, does not want to miss this moment, feels that … no one else on the political scene has much to offer…”

 

An analyst tells Al Jazeera the Muslim Brotherhood’s surprise decision to back al-Shater could not only have a strong impact on the election, but could also reinforce the concern that Islamists are trying to monopolize power in Egypt.

 

“This nomination now poses a threat to other candidates, since the Muslim Brotherhood, which is a highly-organized group, will support al-Shater. And this means fragmentation of votes amongst Islamic candidates. It will take away from the support of other Islamic candidates."

 

A writer for Foreign Policy said the move was also a surprise because if a Brotherhood candidate were to win, the group’s massive political and economic control could cause social upheaval and direct conflict with the country’s powerful military--for little obvious advantage.

 

“Advancing a candidate, while in line with this newly found willingness to flex its muscles, nevertheless creates a no-win situation for the Brotherhood. Backing an acceptable but non-Brotherhood presidential candidate would have protected their core interests without triggering fear in others.”

 

The decision comes as the group faces increasing backlash over its domination of a panel tasked with drafting the country’s new constitution. But the head of Egypt’s Freedom and Justice Party tells Ahram Online, the decision has nothing to do with monopolizing power.

 

"We have witnessed obstacles standing in the way of parliament to take decisions to achieve the demands of the revolution. We have therefore chosen the path of the presidency not because we are greedy for power but because we have a majority in parliament which is unable to fulfill its duties in Parliament.”

 

The elections are scheduled to happen this May.

Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood Under Fire Over Presidential Bid

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Apr 3, 2012

Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood Under Fire Over Presidential Bid

(Image source: The Swash)

 

BY JESSICA SIBERT

 

ANCHOR MEGAN MURPHY

 

After months of refusing to enter a candidate for the Egyptian presidency, the Muslim Brotherhood is now facing criticism for suddenly changing its mind and nominating one of its own. One political analyst tells CNN why.

 

“One of the principle reasons for doing so is that the Muslim Brotherhood does not believe the secondaries will win, and that another Islamist will win…”

 

The candidate, a wealthy businessman named Khairat al-Shater, was allowed to run in the elections to replace ousted leader Hosni Mubarak only after Egypt’s military dropped two of al-Shater’s convictions on Monday. A blogger for the Arabist says the decision was certainly time-sensitive.

 

“In short, the MB went ahead with this decision because it sees itself as on the brink of actually wielding power for the first time in its history, does not want to miss this moment, feels that … no one else on the political scene has much to offer…”

 

An analyst tells Al Jazeera the Muslim Brotherhood’s surprise decision to back al-Shater could not only have a strong impact on the election, but could also reinforce the concern that Islamists are trying to monopolize power in Egypt.

 

“This nomination now poses a threat to other candidates, since the Muslim Brotherhood, which is a highly-organized group, will support al-Shater. And this means fragmentation of votes amongst Islamic candidates. It will take away from the support of other Islamic candidates."

 

A writer for Foreign Policy said the move was also a surprise because if a Brotherhood candidate were to win, the group’s massive political and economic control could cause social upheaval and direct conflict with the country’s powerful military--for little obvious advantage.

 

“Advancing a candidate, while in line with this newly found willingness to flex its muscles, nevertheless creates a no-win situation for the Brotherhood. Backing an acceptable but non-Brotherhood presidential candidate would have protected their core interests without triggering fear in others.”

 

The decision comes as the group faces increasing backlash over its domination of a panel tasked with drafting the country’s new constitution. But the head of Egypt’s Freedom and Justice Party tells Ahram Online, the decision has nothing to do with monopolizing power.

 

"We have witnessed obstacles standing in the way of parliament to take decisions to achieve the demands of the revolution. We have therefore chosen the path of the presidency not because we are greedy for power but because we have a majority in parliament which is unable to fulfill its duties in Parliament.”

 

The elections are scheduled to happen this May.

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