Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood Mohamed Morsi seeks to reassure female and Christian voters
Tuesday 29 May 2012
The Muslim Brotherhood’s presidential nominee attempted to shore up his support in Egypt today by offering to open up senior political positions for Christians and promising not to impose Islamic dress codes for women.
The pledges, made during a speech by Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsi, were coupled with a promise to protect the rights of pro-democracy protesters – many of whom believe the Islamic organisation betrayed Egypt’s uprising by refusing to endorse numerous rallies last year.
His speech came as Egyptians braced themselves for the prospect of further political unrest, with the nation awaiting Saturday’s verdict in the trial of former President Hosni Mubarak.
A pall of uncertainty has descended over the country following last week's presidential elections. Many activists expressed outrage over the unexpected success of Ahmed Shafik, Mr Mubarak’s hastily-appointed and short-lived Prime Minister last year.
In a sign of mounting unease, Mr Shafik’s campaign headquarters were torched by a mob late on Monday night following an official announcement confirming his second-place finish in last week’s elections. After arriving outside his west Cairo office, a group of young men lobbed bricks through the windows and tore up pictures of the former air force chief. Eight people were later arrested, though it was not immediately clear who was to blame.
The attack came after hundreds of protesters marched through the centre of the capital demanding that Mr Shafik be disqualified from next month’s presidential run-off.
The ex-fighter pilot is due to face Mr Morsi – the winner of last week’s first round vote – but Egypt’s parliament recently passed a bill preventing any person who served alongside Hosni Mubarak over the past ten years from running for President. The bill, if enacted, would torpedo Mr Shafik’s candidacy – but judges are not due to rule on its legitimacy until a few days before the June 16 run-off.
“We have carried out the revolution against the authoritarian regime, which was run by Hosni Mubarak,” said columnist Ibrahim Mansour, writing in yesterday’s anti-establishment Al-Tahrir newspaper. “And without doubt, Ahmed Shafik is a natural extension of Hosni Mubarak.”
His views sum up the feelings of many activists, who believe that the election of Mr Mubarak’s friend and one-time colleague would be a disastrous legacy for last year’s uprising.
With Hosni Mubarak’s sentencing rapidly approaching – in which a verdict perceived as being too lenient could trigger further unrest – the stage is set for yet more conflict.
“The way things are at the moment, I think it is turning into a situation where things might escalate,” said Egyptian journalist Amal al-Nakeeb.
Although youth groups have promised to descend on Egypt’s iconic Tahrir Square for more rallies this Friday, the relatively modest protests which have erupted so far have raised questions over the legitimacy of the revolutionary movement.
Last week millions of Egyptians cast their votes for the authoritarian Ahmed Shafik and former Mubarak minister Amr Moussa. It suggests there is now a great deal of ambivalence surrounding further challenges to Egypt’s still-popular military establishment.
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...
£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...
£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...
£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...