Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood says end to military rule is ‘top priority’

The Guardian reports: The Muslim Brotherhood has fired a warning shot at Egypt’s ruling generals, declaring that a swift end to military rule is the country’s “top priority” as it prepares to take charge of a newly elected parliament.

With provisional election results continuing to emerge, confirming earlier predictions of a strong victory for the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice party, the movement’s leaders emphasised that now was the time for “consensus not collision” and agreed to work with parties across the political spectrum to advance the revolution and facilitate a smooth transition to civilian government.

In a sign the Brotherhood will not tolerate parliament being treated as a rubber stamp by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (Scaf), which has clung to power despite almost two weeks of anti-junta protests and violent street clashes, senior members of the organisation told the Guardian the generals risked further unrest if they defied the people and failed to return to their barracks next year.

“Egypt is currently going through a critical era in its history, and I am confident the military will choose to cooperate with parliament and not confront it – any other path will create more chaos,” said Essam al-Arian, vice president of the Freedom and Justice Party.

Amr Darrag, the group’s chief in Giza, said a quick and painless handover to civilian rule was the most important issue facing the Arab world’s most populous nation at present. “We are going through a transitional phase and we are not yet at the optimum stage of this transition,” he argued. “Parliament must be formed, a president must be elected, and power must be transferred to civilian authority. Scaf currently wields executive and legislative power; as soon as parliament convenes the latter must be passed to the institution democratically elected by the Egyptian people.”

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