Egypt’s Presidential Candidates Reject Return of Muslim Brotherhood

An election banner for Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi in Cairo (EPA)
An election banner for Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi in Cairo (EPA)
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Egypt’s Presidential Candidates Reject Return of Muslim Brotherhood

An election banner for Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi in Cairo (EPA)
An election banner for Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi in Cairo (EPA)

Days before the start of Egypt’s presidential elections, statements by the four candidates reflected identical positions summed up in their refusal to the return of the “banned” Muslim brotherhood group to political life.
The elections will be held inside Egypt next Sunday and for three days, while Egyptians abroad cast their ballot about a week ago.
Three candidates are running for the presidential race along with President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi, who is seeking a third term that will last until 2030.
The candidates include Farid Zahran, head of the Egyptian Social Democratic Party, Abdel-Sanad Yamama, president of the Wafd Party, and Hazem Omar, head of the Republican People’s Party.
The future of the Muslim Brotherhood raises widespread controversy in Egypt. Authorities have classified it as a “terrorist organization” following the ousting of former President Mohamed Morsi, who belonged to the group, in 2013.
In August 2014, the Supreme Administrative Court in Egypt ruled to dissolve the Freedom and Justice Party, the political arm of the organization.
Advisor Mahmoud Fawzi, head of Sisi’s electoral campaign, said there was no return to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt’s political scene.
In a televised interview, he noted that talks about the return of the Brotherhood had popular, political and legal dimensions.
“In the popular dimension, we all see that the Egyptians expressed their view of the Brotherhood in the revolution of June 30, 2013, and therefore the people’s opinion is clear”, Fawzi stated.
Regarding the political dimension, he said: “Anyone, whose hands are stained with the blood of Egyptians, is not welcome,” stressing that the legal dimension was clear, as the Brotherhood is classified as a terrorist group.
The other three candidates have expressed similar positions.
In a televised interview, Zahran affirmed that he would reject any role for the Brotherhood in political life if he gets elected as president.
Yamama, for his part, noted that there would be no reconciliation with the “terrorist group”, pointing to the need to “fight the Brotherhood’s ideology with democracy.”
The same stance was confirmed by Omar, who ruled out any rapprochement with the Brotherhood,” adding that the group “gambled with the future of the Egyptian people.”



Iraq Says No Green Light to Turkish Operations in Kurdistan

Smoke billows from a Turkish strike on Iraq's Duhok. (Kurdish media)
Smoke billows from a Turkish strike on Iraq's Duhok. (Kurdish media)
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Iraq Says No Green Light to Turkish Operations in Kurdistan

Smoke billows from a Turkish strike on Iraq's Duhok. (Kurdish media)
Smoke billows from a Turkish strike on Iraq's Duhok. (Kurdish media)

Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein said on Friday his country hasn’t given Türkiye the green light to carry out operations in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region.

In televised remarks, he said the Baghdad government needs to hold more “security discussions with Turkish officials, even though it recognizes that the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) is also an Iraqi problem.”

He added that the Turkish army has been deployed in some Iraqi territories since 1991.

The deployment will be discussed during meetings with Turkish officials that will be held soon, he revealed.

Previous discussions with Türkiye did not yield an agreement over the security file, continued the FM. Türkiye is tying its deployment to the presence of the PKK.

Given that the group is present in Iraq, then it must also be dealt with in an “Iraqi way,” he went on to say.

The Turkish military’s incursion of 40 kms inside Iraqi territory had sparked widespread political and popular uproar.

Iraq’s national security council convened to address the issue.

Spokesman of the armed forces Yahya Rasool said the council tackled the Turkish violations and interference in the joint Iraqi-Turkish border regions.

He stressed Baghdad’s rejection of the incursion and undermining of Iraq’s territorial integrity.

Türkiye must respect the principles of good neighborliness and work diplomatically with the Iraqi government and coordinate with it over any security issue, he added.

Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani had dispatched a delegation led by the national security council head to Kurdistan to discuss general affairs and come up with a unified position over Iraq’s sovereignty.