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Former Deputy PM says brotherhood approves constitutional principles.

Deputy Prime Minister Ali al-Selmy said on Monday that the Democratic Coalition, which is led by the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), is willing to accept a constitutional principles document, a move that would end the ongoing controversy over the formation of a new constitution, reported AL-MASRY AL-YOUM. Selmy said that Saad al-Katatny, secretary general of the FJP, made the concession in a letter to his predecessor, Deputy Prime Minister Yehia al-Gamal, on 28 June. Selmy also said that during a meeting at the offices of the FJP, and in the presence of other political parties, Katatny agreed to the contents of a constitutional principles document.

"We agreed to continue dialogue and create criteria for choosing the committee that would write the constitution," Selmy said. "This means the Brotherhood was involved from the beginning and accepted the document. "Vanity has afflicted the Brotherhood since the revolution," he said. "They say one thing and do something else." Selmy explained that the Brotherhood disagreed on the "civil state" clause mentioned in the document, and that they did not want the document to be obligatory. "Still, they did not sign it, even when we agreed that it would be an advisory document that only binds those who sign it," he said.

Leaders of political parties opined that there was some deal between the Muslim Brotherhood and the ruling Higher Military Council, which is too lenient with the group. Mostafa al-Tawil, honorary president of the Wafd Party, said the political leadership of the country was friendly with the Brotherhood in the beginning, but when the group tried to assume political power, it was purged. "This has been the case since 1952, under Nasser, Sadat and Mubarak," he said. "Now the military council is repeating the same scenario. Any new leader wants to make a deal with the popular forces first," he said. "Then he ousts them once he has consolidated his position."

"The council pampers the Brotherhood because the US wants it," said Nabil Zaky, spokesman of the Tagammu Party. "It is obvious the council is encouraging the extreme religious trends." "The council and the Brotherhood are not working for the interests of the country," said Tarek al-Malt, spokesman of the Wasat Party.
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Publication:The Daily Middle East Reporter (Beirut, Lebanon)
Date:Dec 20, 2011
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