Brotherhood party to confront ruling military council if constitution drafted

The Muslim Brotherhood's newly-established Freedom and Justice Party has threatened to confront Egypt's ruling military council if it approves drafting a new constitution before parliament elections.

"The country now has a straight course and a clear road map, but some want to hinder progress on that course," the party's deputy chairman, Essam al-Erian, said in an interview published on Sunday by the news website Masrawy.

In a referendum in March, more than 70 percent of Egyptians backed a package of amendments to Egypt's 1971 Constitution. The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) then approved an Interim Constitution based on these results.

Secular and liberal political groups have called for drafting a new constitution before parliamentary elections, though Egypt's current transitional plan tasks a new parliament with drafting the constitution after elections. These groups fear that more established powers, such the Muslim Brotherhood and former regime members, being the most prepared, may control the new parliament and therefore the constitution.

Erian said that referendum cannot be annulled by any means except a new referendum – which he said would be impossible.

"There had been a constitutional declaration based on a legitimate, sovereign public referendum, and not even a hundred million signatures or protests can rescind the results of that referendum," he said.

He further said the Freedom and Justice Party will confront the SCAF if it changes the transitional plan.

"We criticized the military council many times and still are," Erian said. "We say that if the council changes the road map charted by the constitutional declaration, we will be the first party to confront it."

He accused media outlets of exaggeration and creating scarecrows, such as the Brotherhood, Salafis, the economy, the security situation and finally, the Interim Constitution.

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