Contestations arise over Sisi’s intentions towards Islamists
President -elect Abdel Fatah al-Sisi - YOUM7(Archive)

CAIRO: Field Marshal Abdel Fatah al-Sisi’s statements relaying his attitude and intent in dealing with Islamists, during his interview aired Monday evening, have been the source of much debate, whereby a series of divisive statements, critiquing political Islam and claiming that he would eradicate the Muslim Brotherhood, drew varying responses.

The former Minister of Defense also stated that he does not bear favors from any party inside or outside the country, including the Nour Party.

Nonetheless, leading member of the Nour Party Shaban Abdel-Aleem praised the interview, saying that it reassured the Egyptian people. He stressed the need for implementing the rule of law to contain the current state of chaos dominating the country.

He added in a statement to VetoGate news website, “Sisi realizes the challenges facing the country during the current period. I am confident that he will take firm decisions to restore security. We hope that he will allow political parties a role in the decision-making process.”

The Nour Party previously expressed its support for Sisi during the upcoming presidential elections, upon a decision issued by the high authority of the Salafist party on Saturday.  However, speculation still remains that while the higher ranks of the party support Sisi, the foot soldiers remain loyal to the Muslim Brotherhood.

Meanwhile, Chairperson of the Karama Party Mohamed Samy, a member of Hamdeen Sabbahi‘s electoral campaign, praised Sisi’s position regarding religious parties, saying that he was not hesitant during the interview. He added, however, in a statement to Youm7 that the Field Marshal did not discuss his electoral program during the first part of the interview.

Whereas founder of the Ghad Party Ayman Nour rebuked the statements, saying that the insistence on excluding the Muslim Brotherhood could exacerbate the current crisis witnessed in the country.

He added in an interview with Al-Jazeera satellite channel, “I suffered for two hours to follow the interview, while the presidential candidate failed to leave any positive impression.” He stressed the need for what he described as transitional justice through referring those involved in killing demonstrators to trial.

Sisi stated during the interview that there will be no Muslim Brotherhood in my term as a president of Egypt. Experts have criticized the statement, saying that it could leave negative impressions over the intentions of the presidential candidate in democratic terms.

According to Youm7, Dr. Noha Bakr, Professor of Political Science at the American University in Cairo, said that the statement will lead to a negative response from the international community.

In the meantime, the Muslim Brotherhood described itself as” a thorn for every dictator [who has] ruled the country” since its establishment. It said on its Twitter account in English, commenting on the interview, “all wanted MB finished, all gone & MB remains.”

Aisha el-Shater, daughter of the former Deputy Supreme Guide of the Brotherhood Khairat el-Shater, denied Sisi’s insinuations that her father had launched threats in a meeting with Sisi prior to the ouster of former President Mohamed Morsi.

According to Al-Masry Al-Youm, She said, “My father spent his life [in efforts] to serve the country. He tolerated repressive imprisonment for years, while he refused to leave the country as a successful businessman. When the Muslim Brotherhood took power, he did not retaliate against those who had oppressed him.”

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