Opposition’s rejection of referendum results contradictory: Mohamed Ghanem
A London-based Muslim Brotherhood leader tells Press TV that the Egyptian opposition’s stance is contradictory to what it claims, as it claims to back democracy but on the other hand does not accept the result of the referendum on constitution.
Over 70 percent of Egyptians who participated in the second round of the two-stage referendum have voted in favor of the newly-written draft constitution. Meanwhile the Egyptian opposition has alleged “fraud and violations” in the referendum on draft constitution, saying that it will appeal the results of the vote. “The referendum is not the end of the road. It is only one battle,” the National Salvation Front said in a statement read at a news conference in Cairo on Sunday. On Saturday, over eight million people from the 25 million eligible voters in 17 provinces cast their ballots in the second round of the referendum on the new constitution, which states that the nation must be governed by the principles of Islamic law.
Press TV has conducted an interview with Mohamed Ghanem, leader of the Muslim Brotherhood in the United Kingdom from London to shed more light on the issue at hand. He is joined by two additional guests on Press TV’s News Analysis program: Shaker Rizk, Islamic thinker from the Egyptian capital city of Cairo and Jamal Wakim, political analyst from the Lebanese capital city of Beirut. The program also contains statements of Karim Gamal el-Deen, Press TV’s correspondent from Cairo. What follows is an approximate transcription of the interview.
Press TV: Our guest in Beirut [Jamal Wakim] has said that he believes that this is just going to push it, basically, to ahead because many people feel that the Muslim Brotherhood now is forcing this upon them.
I want your analysis of the situation and do you understand what exactly they mean when the opposition says this or not?
Ghanem: Bismallah al-Rahman al-Rahim, in the name of God, the most gracious, the most merciful. I think that two third of the Egyptian people have said yes to the referendum. That gives enough power for the political machine to take off towards more democracy, filling the political vacuum and building or reshaping the political life in Egypt and more democracy.
When you say that the Egyptian people…no evident whatsoever say the Egyptian people has voted for going forward by voting yes. For the opposition by definition, if they have enough dignity to accept the defeat in the referendum they should stop being stubborn and they should go forward and taking that excuse to stay behind, that is no going to benefit neither them nor the Egyptian people.
We are in the bridge to rebuild the country. We know the previous regime [of Hosni Mubarak] had corrupted [the country in] every aspect, political and economic and social, and in order to rebuild it we have to go forward, fulfill the political vacuum, build the new constitution, as this referendum confirmed, building the other institutions, getting parliament, the other house of elected, making the government and giving prime minister to share with Mr. Morsi, the president, the authority to push Egypt forward, especially economically because unfortunately Egypt has been subjected to suppression and distortion and destroying all the resources of Egypt. Rebuilding that needs time and needs planning and organization. Just being stubborn and having that excuse to stay behind is not going to benefit anyone.
Press TV: One of the concerns it seems that the opposition is saying, they are voicing their concerns and saying that a constitution based on Islam will actually take Egypt back in time.
Can an Islamic constitution or Sharia [Islamic law] be implemented along with equality and fairness because according to the opposition, they are using words like, basically, a loss of freedom or loss of rights or loss of human rights.
What is your take on their criticism Mr. Ghanem?
Ghanem: Well, Islam was always in Muslim Egyptian society and in the Arab World and the Middle East and there is not something new to this constitution; it was always there.
But what I would like to mention to our noble friend there [is] when he mentioned this alienation or polarization, this is no such an ingredient for democracy. The ingredient for democracy is opposition and opposition is very important and they have to play the role as democracy says; changing power has to take place and only by election you can change the people in power and if they are serious, they should work as opposition and not claim all this undefined concept; they just force it to the process.
The Egyptian people are very clever, they proved to know where they want to go and they decided the way.
But for these words as Capitalism and all these…, we passed that age. Today we manage resources and once you get democracy and you get a parliament and government being elected, they are accountable for their actions, then you can guarantee the efficiency of running the economy regardless of all these labels which do not really mean too much these days and let us do that and let us go for democracy and do not contradict yourself when in one hand you accept democracy and democratic process and on the other hand you claim that you are not going to accept the results.
That is not going to …, you are going to …, as you are pulling the train back. If you are want to be positive to the Egyptian people you should go with the Egyptian people’s wish and this referendum was very clear that the Egyptian people have chosen to go forward for democracy and they are the only power and they are the only authority which decide who should be in power.
As a test, if they do not like it [in the] next election they will get rid of them.