Senior officials from Egypt’s ousted Muslim Brotherhood party have formally rejected plans laid out by interim president Adly Mansour for fresh elections next year.
Essam al-Erian, a leading figure in the Egyptian-branch of the Islamist moment, said the timetable for constitutional changes and subsequent elections would set the country “back to square one”. He also refused to recognise Adly Mansour’s authority to call elections.
The Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohammed Morsi was ousted as president by the Egyptian army last week, just a year after being voted-in during the country’s first ever democratic elections.
His removal followed protests by tens of thousands of civilians who accused him of becoming increasingly authoritarian Islamist agenda that disrupted the country’s vital tourism industry and made its economic problems considerably worse.
Under Adly Mansour’s election timetable, a redrafting of the country’s currently suspended-constitution - which was drafted by the Muslim Brotherhood shortly after it came to power - would take place within the next 15 days.
The amendments would then be put to a country-wide referendum within four months which, providing they are passed, would pave the way for a fresh round of democratic elections on early 2014.
The timetable was announced just hours after 51 Morsi-loyalists were killed outside an army barracks where the deposed president is believed to be held.
The Muslim Brotherhood claims those killed were fired upon during a peaceful sit-in protest outside the building.
The army rejects those claims, saying the deaths occurred in response to armed provocation.