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Muslim Brotherhood presidential nominee Khairat al-Shater said Tuesday that the application of Sharia is his ultimate goal.
“I will rely on people of experience to help Parliament achieve that goal,” Shater said during a meeting of the Islamic Legitimate Body of Rights and Reformation, a moderate body of Islamic scholars, according to the group’s website, which quoted his remarks in a statement.
Shater, however, did not elaborate on the methods he would adopt to apply Islamic legislation. The statement said the four-hour meeting was the candidate’s first since the Brotherhood announced his nomination.
Shater denied suggestions that his nomination was the result of a deal with the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces. As for the system of government he would establish, he said he prefers a semi-presidential system, but said he would have no problem if existing political parties opt for a parliamentary system.
Shater said media outlets were one of the most dangerous tools used against the 2011 revolution and against Islamists in particular. He said state media should be improved by making room for honest media figures.
Shater is one of the Brotherhood’s pillars and its former deputy supreme guide. He acted as a vocal opposition figure under the rule of former President Hosni Mubarak. In April 2011, he said the group was preparing for the establishment of an Islamic government, which drew criticism from secularists and Copts who oppose the idea of a religious state.
On Saturday, the Brotherhood went back on its earlier pledge not to field a presidential candidate by announcing Shater’s nomination. The announcement provoked an uproar from various political groups that accused the Brotherhood of trying to dominate Egypt’s politics.
The Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party occupies a majority in the Egyptian Parliament and currently dominates the panel that will draft Egypt’s new constitution. It has also been pushing for removing the cabinet of Prime Minister Kamal al-Ganzouri and forming a new government under its leadership.