A former senior member of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Dr. Kamal Helbawy, has claimed that consensus on the members of the assembly charged with drafting Egypt’s new constitution is “a step in the right direction”. Dr. Helbawy added that this has nothing to do with the political path experienced by Egypt at the level of the presidential election.
In an exclusive statement to Quds Press, Helbawy explained that the outcome of the second round of the presidential election is in the hands of the constitutional court, which will look into the legitimacy of the parliament and the application of the law of political isolation, which will have an impact on the presidential candidate Ahmed Shafiq.
“First, we must emphasize that the election of the members of the constituent assembly for drafting the country’s new constitution was balanced in spite of the criticisms raised by some Egyptians,” said Helbawy, “as it represented various segments of society – political, social, religious and legal – and this is certainly much better than before.”
With regards to the presidential election, Helbawy pointed out that this depends on the decisions that will be taken by the constitutional court with regard to the parliament and its possible dissolution. This is due to the number of places allocated to individuals which was overshadowed by the party lists.
It is clear that the old National Democratic Party is working extensively on a local level and has an impact on the elite, leading to a rejection of the candidates.
“There is widespread speculation that internal affairs are not the only criteria when it comes to voting intentions in the presidential election; aside from the army’s role in the political process and the ongoing trials of officials from the Mubarak regime, the foreign affairs issues of the US and Israel have a major impact on determining who will rule Egypt,” said the veteran campaigner. “Moreover, if the constitutional court decides to isolate Shafiq, the election will be totally revoked, and if it agrees on the dissolution of parliament, the election will be repeated from square one.”
Dr. Helbawi believes that the post-revolution phase has impacted negatively on the Islamists’ political credibility: “If the elections do have to be rerun, the Muslim Brotherhood will probably not get the same level of support because of the movement’s performance in the current phase, and because it promised things which it could not deliver. In all cases, I think that the Islamists have rushed to reap the fruits of the revolution and have not continued within the framework of the quiet, peaceful revolution; this will have an impact on the future of the Islamists’ political work.”