- Middle East/North Africa
The Muslim Brotherhood's presidential candidate will not use the group's long-standing slogan, "Islam is the solution," for the upcoming election.
The group's candidate, Mohamed Morsy, will instead campaign under the slogan "Renaissance is the will of the nation," after the Presidential Elections Commission banned the use of the motto.
Ahmed Abdel Aaty, the general coordinator for Morsy's presidential campaign, said the new motto would be used in the campaign, denying claims that the Brotherhood would stick with its old one.
At a press conference, Morsy said people used to criticize the old motto as too loose and unreflective of a specific political platform. He said the group's renaissance project translates the motto into applicable ideas, MENA reported.
Abdel Moneim Abdel Maqsoud, the lawyer for the Brotherhood, criticized what he described as the elections commission's threat to refer the slogan to public prosecution.
In a statement issued on Monday, Abdel Maqsoud said commission head Hatem Bagato rejected the motto by saying it is religious.
Abdel Maqsoud said the slogan is political, not religious, mentioning that the administrative judiciary previously ruled that the motto conforms with Article 2 of the Constitutional Declaration, which states that Islamic Sharia is the major source of legislation.
He defended the legality of the motto, regardless of whether Morsy would use it or not. When Morsy discussed the old motto at a previous conference, he was referring to it as an approach for his election platform, rather than as a campaign slogan, Abdel Maqsoud said.
The same slogan was rejected back in the 2005 parliamentary elections by the elections commission for the same reason.
The Brotherhood appealed the ban then and the court ruled in its favor, saying it was not a religious motto.
In the 2010 parliamentary elections, Egyptian courts rejected a request by the High Judicial Elections Commission to oust some Brotherhood candidates who used the motto.
Abdel Maqsoud said 1,018 members of the Brotherhood in 22 governorates were referred for criminal trial under ex-President Hosni Mubarak for using the slogan. But a court ruled to exonerate them.