Ready to form new government, Brotherhood rejects Ganzouri cabinet

The Muslim Brotherhood is ready to form a coalition government and rejects the current government headed by Prime Minister Kamal al-Ganzouri, said a senior Muslim Brotherhood leader Wednesday.

Although the Brotherhood has no power to appoint a new cabinet while the military is in power, and has also vowed not to field a presidential candidate who would have the power to do so, Deputy Supreme Guide Khairat al-Shater said in an interview with Al Jazeera that his group is ready to form a new government.

“We won’t be the only ones who form it, but instead there should be an alliance to form it,” he said.

An electoral alliance headed by the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party holds more than 46 percent of the seats in the People’s Assembly, while the Salafi-oriented Nour Party holds around 23 percent.

State institutions are being poorly managed, said Shater, adding that forming a new government will not be enough to reform them. He  said there is an urgent need for the formation of municipal councils and gubernatorial elections.

Shater denied rumors that his group has agreed with the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces on a presidential candidate, and said the group will support a civilian candidate who is not a Brotherhood member or affiliated with the Mubarak regime.

Regarding the drafting of a new constitution, Shater said, “We, as the Muslim Brotherhood, are mulling a balanced wording based on the experiences of other countries. However, the constituent assembly is the entity that will write [the constitution], not the Muslim Brotherhood.”

Shater also said the authors of the new constitution should not accede to the military’s desire to be shielded from civilian oversight. However, Shater does support giving the military enough privacy to protect national security, but in a way that does not violate principles of public transparency.

“We completely refused [former Deputy Prime Minister Ali] al-Selmy’s document that granted the SCAF complete privacy in the constitution. No one is above the law.”

Selmy proposed a supra-constitutional principles last December that would have granted the military a privileged status in the new constitution. Islamists vehemently opposed the document on the grounds that it violated the constituent assembly’s autonomy in writing the new constitution.

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