Egypt's liberals backing Muslim Brotherhood to prevent military from usurping sweeping powers
Cairo, June 23 (ANI): A coalition of non-Islamist leaders and revolutionaries in Egypt are extending their support to the Muslim Brotherhood's presidential candidate as they unite against the attempt of the country's military to hold on to power.
The show of unity increases the Brotherhood's leverage as it faces off against Egypt's military rulers, who limited the authority of Egypt's incoming president and granted themselves sweeping powers.
According to two non-Islamist figures, Brotherhood leaders said that the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) has offered them an ultimatum in a recent meeting.
They have been asked either to accept the constitutional declaration giving SCAF wide powers or to accept the military's preferred presidential candidate, Ahmed Shafiq as the victor, the Christian Science Monitor reports.
According to the report, as the Muslim Brotherhood's candidate, Mohamed Morsi, announced the new coalition backing his presidency, thousands of people filled Tahrir Square, responding to a call from the Brotherhood to protest the military's recent power grab.
Hassan Nafaa, a longtime liberal opposition figure who was among those announcing support for Morsi, said that the coalition's objective was to force Morsi to publicly commit himself to democratic values.
"For us the point is not to support Mohamed Morsi against Shafiq, but to support democracy," he said.
"We need a democratic system and we feel that the SCAF is trying to manipulate and extend its mandate for an unlimited time, and this is not democratic at all," he added.
Wael Ghonim, a former Google employee, also announced his support for the coalition.
"This is not a stand with the Brotherhood. It is a stand with legitimacy, with democracy," the paper quoted him, as saying.
According to the paper, what forced the two sides together was a blatant move by the military to retain power after a civilian president takes office. (ANI)
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