Since the noble Egyptian people launched their great revolution and toppled the head of the corrupt former regime, Egypt felt the breeze of freedom, and immediately certain ‘hands’ started attempts to obstruct the march of power transfer to elected civilians. That began with opposition to the March 2011 referendum on post-revolution constitutional amendments, in which the people voiced their approval clearly by 77% of the vote. Then, there was the contrived battle of the “Constitution First” slogans. Then again, there was the so-called “Supra-Constitutional” or “Governing Principles” episode. Yet with increasing popular determination, political parties and the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) agreed on a road map to rebuild the people’s legislative and constitutional establishments and institutions; and a timetable was set for the transfer of power by 30 June 2012.
Then arguments broke out over the method of conducting the parliamentary elections, whether to adopt party nominee lists or individual candidates systems, which ended in consensus among the full spectrum of political parties, forces, stakeholders and SCAF, in the presence of official representatives of the Supreme Constitutional Court, where it was decided that two-thirds of candidates would have to be in party nominee lists, while one-third would be in “individuals” lists.
No sooner had the parliamentary elections ended, with positive participation of about thirty million people who freely expressed their sovereign will, than attempts to disrupt the functioning of the People's Assembly and the Shura Council. This was clear in the executive branch’s persistent failure to respond to MPs’ demands and decisions, and the sharp slowdown in the performance of the government. Then followed a long series of fabricated crises and failures, mismanagement and stubborn refusal to respond to the demands of the people, for which they started the Revolution. Ultimately, we reached what could be considered a total waste of the country’s capabilities and resources. The risk of a precipitous free-fall and complete instability, as demonstrated in a state of chaos and utter lawlessness, and contrived economic and essential-living crises… etc.
We then started forming the Constituent Assembly which will draw up the country’s national charter, in accordance with the Constitutional Declaration endorsed by popular referendum. Elections for the constituent committee brought in a marvelous selection of prominent professionals and personalities representing all hues of Egyptian society with all its people and institutions. An absurdly massive orchestrated media campaign was then launched, which included applying pressure to cause some of the Assembly’s newly elected members to withdraw, although they had just expressed their pleasure for joining the panel. This was meant to distort and tarnish the positive image of the parliament and its efforts, and to hinder the work of the new panel. Thus, serious impediments continue to be used by some to disrupt or circumvent the democratic path of transformation and power transfer according to popular will.
All the while, the Muslim Brotherhood did endeavor in many ways to reach a broad consensus with all parties, so all hues of Egyptian society would bear the responsibility of taking the homeland to the shores of safety and stability. The Brotherhood also tried persuade relevant government authorities to take all necessary action to restore security and the rule of law as well as economic stability, and to meet the essential needs of the people’s daily living, and also to achieve harmony and consensus with everyone in order to form a national consensus government from the parliamentary majority, with positive participation by other parties. But it was all in vain; there was no real, practical response.
The Muslim Brotherhood believed that the continuation of the status quo and remaining silent about it amounted to negligence, a crime against the fatherland, for which it would be held accountable to God, history and the people who elected it into parliament in free and fair elections.
The decision of the Brotherhood’s consultative General Shura Council not to endorse any of the organization’s own members as a candidate for the presidency – on 10 February 2011 with confirmation on 29 April 2011 – was based on internal and external reasons, but generally to safeguard the success of the revolution, and not to provide any excuses for an unfortunate abortion of the process of democratization.
However, with the above challenges, and others, the Brotherhood found that there is a very real and imminent threat to the revolution and the process of democratic transition and transfer of power to an elected civilian government in accordance with the popular will. The most important aspects of these challenges are as follows:
• Refusal and subversion of endeavors to form a government with real powers, that reflects the will of the people, despite the utter failure of the current Cabinet.
• Blatant threats to dissolve the People's Assembly and Shura Council elected for the first time by popular free will, something which threatens to destroy the most important achievement of the revolution that has been attained to date.
• Putting forward a presidential candidate or more from the remnants of the corrupt former regime, with support from the chums and cronies and members of the dissolved National party and the enemies of the revolution, in an attempt to produce the former regime once again.
• Attempts to hinder the work of the Constituent Assembly and instigating major, pointless arguments around it in order to impede the preparation and drafting of the Constitution within the scheduled deadline.
Out of its sense of responsibility and appreciation of the higher interests of the homeland, the Muslim Brotherhood was keen to comply with the announcements they had made earlier, not to field a candidate of its own for the presidency. The Brotherhood, therefore, communicated with several public figures suitable as candidates in this important stage in the history of the country, but they all refused, each for his own reasons.
In the face of these changes and challenges experienced by the revolution now, and the threats it faces, the Brotherhood studied the whole situation in light of its historical and national responsibility, and the hopes and aspirations of our great people who gave us their trust, of which we are proud. Also, after debates and discussions at the General Shura Council’s emergency meetings, in order to uphold the homeland’s higher national interests, and to achieve the goals of the revolution, «The Muslim Brotherhood’s General Shura Council decided in its emergency session today, Saturday 31 March 2012, to field a candidate for the presidency, and it hereby authorizes the Guidance Bureau in coordination with the Executive Office of the Freedom and Justice Party to take all the executive and follow-up actions as necessary».
As we announce this decision, we assure our noble people that the Brotherhood does not seek power in order to obtain high office or to achieve private gains or prestige, but certainly seek to achieve the purpose for which purpose for which it was founded and for which it worked for many years, which is pleasing God Almighty by guiding the people to the teachings and sublime values of Islam, and working to achieve comprehensive reform, in which all the homeland’s citizens should share.
The Brotherhood, therefore, undertakes to bear the historical responsibility of achieving the objectives of the Egyptian revolution, which impressed the whole world, so this homeland should never turn back. The Brotherhood is confident of success, with God’s help – sincere in our selfless pursuit of the sublime goals – and with the support of the people of this decision and their cooperation with the organization in safeguarding the gains of the great revolution and protecting them from the dangers that threaten them, praying to God Almighty to guide us and strengthen our determination and resolve to achieve the hopes and aspirations our great people.