The Muslim Brotherhood has committed several grave mistakes since the regime was toppled in 2011, said professor of law Hossam Eissa.
“When the referendum on the constitutional amendments was drawing near, they disappeared from the scene and switched off their cell phones,” he told Al Arabiya’s Presidential Candidate. “They started holding meetings with the military council and struck their own deals.”
Eissa added that the Brotherhood signed all the documents stipulating that Egypt should become a civilian state, then took that back later.
“When the time came to choose members of the Constituent Assembly in charge of drafting the new constitution, they wanted Islamists to prevail in a very suspicious way.”
What caused concern, he explained, was that the Brotherhood wanted to be in control of the transitional period and to exclude other political forces.
“This was not possible especially with the poor performance of Brotherhood MPs in the parliament.”
Eissa pointed out that the Brotherhood committed another mistake when they decided to stage a massive demonstration in protest of the Supreme Constitutional Court’s ruling to dissolve the parliament.
“This is absolutely wrong. We need to abide by court rulings.”
For former Brotherhood Deputy Supreme Guide Mohamed Habib, the group’s gravest mistake was fielding a presidential candidate despite earlier statements.
“This was a fatal mistake because it cost the Brotherhood their credibility and adversely affected their popularity,” he told Al Arabiya’s Presidential Candidate.
The only way for the Muslim Brotherhood to redress its mistakes, Habib explained, is to issue an apology.
“They have to apologize to the revolutionaries for their actions starting February 2011 to the time they fielded a presidential candidate. This is the only way they can gain political maturity.”
Habib said he hoped that after the revolution the Brotherhood would be able to unite all national powers, but they failed to do so.
“I guess they are starting to realize how wrong they were after seeing their popular support clearly receding.”
According to professor of political science Hazem Hosni, lack of trust in the Muslim Brotherhood is not only confined to the Egyptian people, but also extends to the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF).
“SCAF and the Muslim Brotherhood were in agreement in the beginning, but things changed when the Brotherhood got a parliamentary majority and started using a condescending tone with SCAF,” he told Al Arabiya’s Presidential Candidate.
Regarding the controversial supplementary constitutional declaration, Hosni said that unlike what many think it did not curb the power of the president, but just defined them.
“Before the military council hands power to at the end of June, it was important to have another document that determines the distribution of authority.”
Professor of constitutional law Ramadan Bateekh seconded Hosni’s opinion and said that dissolving the parliament made the supplementary constitutional declaration even more crucial.
“After the parliament was dissolved, a legislative vacuum was created and it was important to mention that the military council will temporarily have the powers of the parliament,” he told Al Arabiya’s Presidential Candidate.
Bateekh added that while the military council will give its legislative powers after a new parliament is elected, it will retain other powers in the new constitution.
“The military council will still have the final say in some matters like the declaration of war and which the president cannot do without the consent of the council.”
(Translated from Arabic by Sonia Farid)