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Muslim Brotherhood demands that President Mubarak step down

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2011-02-01

In an interview with FRANCE 24, the Supreme Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mohammed Badie (pictured), demanded that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak form a government of national unity, organize free elections and step down as president.

In a live interview with FRANCE24 Sunday, Mohammed Badie, leader of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, condemed President Hosni Mubarak's speech early Saturday morning in which he sacked his cabinet but refused to step down.

According to Badie, Mubarak's remarks have only one purpose: "to buy him some much needed time".

“We are demanding that he give in to people's demands  in order to avoid a catastrophe,” Badie said.

The Muslim Brotherhood is Egypt's main opposition group. It has been outlawed since 1954, when it was convicted for trying to assasinate Gamal Abdel Nasser, then president of the country. 

Who is the Muslim Brotherhood?

The group went underground until 2005, when several Brotherhood candidates ran as independents in the parlimentary elections. The group won 88 seats and became the largest opposition bloc in the parliament.

Despite fielding 200 candidates in the latest elections in November 2010, the group didn't win a single seat. There were widespread charges of fraud.

During the uprising over the past week, several members of the Muslim Brotherhood have been arrested.

“The Muslim Brotherhood is a part of Egyptian society - no more, no less,” Mohammed Badie, the Brotherhood's Supreme Guide, told FRANCE 24.

“We have had a large numbers of people arrested. More than 500 brothers have been detained since the beginning of the popular revolt, which also includes women and the young, the old, teachers … all segements of society”, he said.

During the interview, Badie outlined a list of demands compiled by the Brotherhood for Mubarak. Among them, lifting the state of emergency and dissolving the parliament.

“He must form a new government of national unity, organize elections under the control of the judiciary. Finally, Hosni Mubarak must leave. It’s what his people are demanding.”

Badie called on the Eyptian army to “defend a democratic regime, not a corrupt one” and to be a “shield for the Egyptian people and the entire Arab World.”

Addressing the United States--an ally of Mubarak’s since he took office in 1981--Badie demanded Western powers ”respect the choice of the Egyptian people instead of supporting dictatorial and corrupt regimes that are disappearing. Not only in Egypt. In Tunisia and in all the dictatorial Arab regimes as well".

"The era of dictatorship is finished," Badie said. "The era of the people has come".

 

Date created : 2011-01-30

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