Freedom and Justice Party officials have rejected the National Salvation Front’s initiative for ending the current political impasse, calling the initiative unrealistic and inapplicable.
Officials from the Muslim Brotherhood’s political wing have instead called on NSF leaders to attend President Mohamed Morsy’s dialogue sessions that they have been boycotting so far.
NSF member and Conference Party leader Amr Moussa had presented a five-point plan based on a political truce between the president and the opposition, and the formation of an emergency government that includes representatives from all parties with Morsy himself as prime minister for a year.
The plan also calls on Morsy to maintain security while guaranteeing the right to peaceful protests, telling the Egyptian people the truth about the economic situation, and forming a committee of constitutional experts tasked with reviewing contentious constitutional articles before presenting them to the emergency government.
“The NSF’s initiative is illogical, especially after they have repeatedly refused the president’s call for them to participate in national dialogue,” FJP spokesperson Ahmed Sebea told Daily News Egypt.
He added that a political truce was needed, however, and that this truce needs to be agreed upon in the context of national dialogue in order to achieve economic stability and push forward the wheel of production.
“The newly adopted constitution stipulates that the majority party in the House of Representatives, parliament’s lower house, gets to form the government. There are constitutional provisions to forming the government and the constitution does not say anything about coalition governments,” Sebea said.
The constitution also stipulates that House of Representatives elections are to take place within 60 days of the charter’s adoption.
Until then, the upper house, the Shura Council, is entrusted with legislation and Prime Minister Hesham Qandil’s cabinet is to remain in power, although Morsy has tasked Qandil with performing a cabinet reshuffle.
“First of all, the plan is Amr Moussa’s plan, not the NSF’s. But, the notion that Muslim Brotherhood cannot form a coalition government if they wanted is ridiculous,” said Ahmed El-Hawary, member of the NSF steering committee.
The president can form a coalition government now and if the FJP wins parliamentary elections it will be in their power to keep that coalition government, he added.
“What we need is an inclusive cabinet because the country is in crisis right now and it will remain in crisis so long as there one decision maker,” El-Hawary said.
The NSF has repeatedly rejected participation in the national dialogue sponsored by Morsy. The opposition group is demanding a clear agenda, a timeline, a neutral moderator and publicity of the talks as prerequisites for their participation.
The presidency and the FJP have called on the NSF to participate in dialogue without preconditions.
“There was a national dialogue session today at the Shura Council. It had a very specific agenda, which is to discuss the parliamentary elections law, and it has been announced a week in advance. We have provided them with a timeline and an agenda and they still refuse to talk,” said Sebea.
El-Hawary disputed the existence of a real agenda for the national dialogue however.
“What is the use of discussing the elections law? They already stipulated in their constitution that the elections are to take place under a mixed system with two-thirds of seats allocated to party lists and a third for individual seats. What is there to discuss?” he said.
El-Hawary added that the Shura Council already has a draft bill prepared for the elections law and that the national dialogue sessions are just for show.
“This is a dialogue for cameras and we will not participate in publicity stunts. As usual, the Muslim Brotherhood already made its decision and only offers to have dialogue after a decision is made to make themselves look good.”