Egypt Brotherhood Unresponsive to Government Plan, Minister Says

SOURCE: Mariam Fam / Bloomberg News
October 29, 2013
Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood has signaled no willingness to accept an official program that calls for the renunciation of violence, Deputy Prime Minister Ziad Bahaa el-Din said.

"What I was hoping to do is to have a space open for participation by all political parties and all political players and the terms for joining this are to say, 'We are renouncing violence; we may not like the road map but we will work with the road map,'" he told a small group of reporters in Cairo today. "This signal has never come from the Brotherhood, whether in jail or outside of jail."

While the army-backed government installed after the ouster of President Mohamed Mursi is pushing ahead with a political blueprint that envisions constitutional amendments and new elections, Mursi's supporters have vowed to resist what they say is the coup that toppled him and are refusing to recognize the political road map.

The main alliance backing Mursi says it is committed to peaceful means and many hundreds of his supporters have been killed in clashes with the security forces during protests.

"I think the Brotherhood is responsible for the continuation of the atmosphere of violence in Egypt," Bahaa el-Din said. "Who is holding the gun and shooting -- I really don't have this level of information."

Government officials have said they are committed to an inclusive political process for those not involved in violence, though Brotherhood supporters say a campaign that includes arrests and asset freezes against the group's leaders renders such calls hollow.

"Do I believe that a security solution alone is capable of taking Egypt forward? No," Bahaa el-Din said. While current tensions alone "will not cripple the economy," the country ultimately "needs to move toward a framework of political accord."

"It needs a political framework," that "would be more inclusive to everybody," he said.