Egypt`s Islamists challenge military rulers

Liberals in Egypt fear that an Islamist-dominated committee would serve the Islamists` agenda.

Updated: Aug 14, 2011, 11:56 AM IST

Cairo: The Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s largest political group, warned the country`s military rulers on Saturday not to interfere in the writing of a new Constitution.

The statement from the Brotherhood marks the first time of an Islamist group directly challenging Egypt`s ruling military council since the ouster of former President Hosni Mubarak in February.

The group`s stand is prompted over the comments from a senior government official, which came this week, that the military council will soon set out certain principles outlining, who is eligible to draft a new Constitution. The Brotherhood also fears the military is trying to enshrine a political role for itself in the Constitution.

The drawing up of a new Constitution is a topic of intense debate in Egypt. Parliamentary elections are slated for later this year, and the Brotherhood & its fellow Islamists are expected to do well at the polls. That would likely give them a dominant voice in appointing the committee that will draft a new Constitution.
Liberals fear that an Islamist-dominated committee will produce a document that serves only the Islamists` agenda. While Islamists fear that specifying a political role for the army in the country`s public life would curb their own ability to shape Egypt`s future. Concerned over the prospect of a military role in public life, Liberals would run counter to their hopes of having a country governed in full by civilian rulers.

Bureau Report