CAIRO: Egypt’s most powerful opposition group the Muslim Brotherhood is currently in the process of appointing new members to its Guidance Office as well as a new Supreme Guide, the current Guide Mohamed Mahdi Akef told Daily News Egypt Sunday.
“We are in the process right now of selecting new members to the Guidance Office and I will make an announcement as soon as it is done, Akef said.
The group is due to appoint new members to its Guidance Office within 48 hours, prominent Brotherhood member Essam El-Erian confirmed to Daily News Egypt Sunday.
The guidance office is the group’s highest authority, and is headed by the Supreme Guide, a post currently held by Akef. El-Erian said that the new Supreme Guide would be chosen after the new members of the Guidance office are appointed.
Newspaper reports had stated that El-Erian had been assured of a position in the new top council, a post he would hold for the first time. He said, however, that he had not been officially informed of this.
Some reports have indicated that a schism within the group has resulted over the new appointments, with some members allegedly arguing that the current Guidance Office did not have the authority to appoint the new one as their term has technically expired.
“There are differences, El-Erian said, “but they are not as pronounced as it is made to look in the media.
Additionally, the Secretary General of the group Mahmoud Ezzat had recently announced that the appointment of both the new Guidance Office and Supreme Guide would be done before Jan 13.
However, the Deputy Supreme Guide Mohamed Habib had told Al-Jazeera Saturday night that he intended to dispute the decision to speed up the process because he had not been informed of the decision to begin the new appointments.
He added that he had no knowledge of this decision before Ezzat announced it, and if matters continued in this vein, it would render the new appointments unconstitutional according to the group’s charter. Habib could not be reached for comment Sunday.
Ezzat had told Al-Jazeera that these differences between the higher echelons of the group only proved that there was true democracy within the Brotherhood.
The Muslim Brotherhood is officially banned, but enjoys a substantive parliamentary presence – its MPs run as independent candidates – as well as popular support.