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Egypt heading towards political crisis: Moussa

A deep rift between Egypt's ruling military leaders and the radical Muslim Brotherhood, which dominates the post-Mubarak era Parliament, indicates that the country is headed toward a state of political crisis, presidential hopeful Amr Moussa has said.

world Updated: Mar 26, 2012 21:20 IST

A deep rift between Egypt's ruling military leaders and the radical Muslim Brotherhood, which dominates the post-Mubarak era Parliament, indicates that the country is headed toward a state of political crisis, presidential hopeful Amr Moussa has said.

Reacting to reports of a tussle between the military and Muslim brotherhood over the sacking of the cabinet, Moussa said that he fears political instability if cabinet is dissolved now.

The Muslim Brotherhood's political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party, has been pressuring the military to sack the cabinet and appoint an FJP-led government after it won a crushing victory in parliamentary elections.

But, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), which took power after the popular uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak, has stood by the cabinet and its head Kamal Ganzuri.

Moussa said the rift between the SCAF and the Muslim Brotherhood indicates that the country is headed toward a state of political crisis.

The former Arab League secretary general ruled out any possibility that the ruling SCAF will intervene in the upcoming Presidential election.

He said fears that he previously expressed of a possible SCAF intervention came in response to the military promulgated idea of having a "consensus president" which did not find popularity among the country's citizens, he said.

Moussa said he opposed the suggestion of electing half of the members of the constitution-writing assembly from Parliament from the start.

"The protests that erupted following the announcement of the composition of the constituent assembly prove that the people are dissatisfied with its makeup," he said.

The Constitution should not be monopolised by a majority or a minority, and that it requires consensus, he said.

Moussa said the presidential system is the most appropriate for Egypt now, provided that the powers of every branch of the state are well-defined so that they complement each other.

The parliamentary system is not suitable for Egypt because political actors are still not mature enough, he said, adding that the parliamentary system could replace the presidential one in 10 years.

Meanwhile, Muslim Brotherhood accused the nation's ruling generals of trying to "hinder" the transition to democratic rule.

In a statement on Sunday, the FJP, raised concern that presidential elections due in May could be rigged to benefit a "certain candidate" it did not identify.

It added that the party is studying proposals to field its own candidate, reversing an earlier decision not to do so.

During a meeting with group leaders in Kafr al-Sheikh, Brotherhood Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie said the Brotherhood changed its previous position after several Mubarak-era figures announced their intent to run for president.

The Brotherhood had previously announced it would not field a presidential candidate, saying the group would instead support a candidate from outside its own party to ensure a representative balance of power.

"This is not to dishonour our earlier promises, but the current situation in Egypt prompted us to reconsider our stance. Egypt's interests are our top goal," Badie said.

"One reason for that [change] is the government’s weak performance. The cabinet has to leave, and we have the personnel and the experience to do the task," the leader said.

Referring to the group's new stance, Badie said that game-changing candidates had emerged, requiring the group to adjust its political tactics.

"At the beginning, we refused to field a presidential candidate, but now changes are taking place, and there are former regime figures like Omar Suleiman — there are even signatures being gathered supporting Mubarak for president," he said.