Bill to curb protests step to 'exclude' Brotherhood

The Egyptian government has proposed a bill to limit demonstrations in the wake of the July 3 ouster of democratically-elected Morsi by the powerful military.

Bill to curb protests step to 'exclude' Brotherhood

World Bulletin/News Desk

Calls are growing for drafting a new law to limit protests staged by supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi, a move seen by analysts as a further step toward "excluding" the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Egyptian government has proposed a bill to limit demonstrations in the wake of the July 3 ouster of democratically-elected Morsi by the powerful military.

The proposed law makes it necessary for protest organizers to notify the authorities about the time and the venue of the demonstration. It also specifies certain locations for protests in Cairo and other Egyptian cities.

It suggests that protests should be staged 200 meters away from public buildings and government offices. Violators will be criminalized under the proposed law.

However, the government has faced repeated accusations of being "slow" in issuing the law to curb protests.

Veteran journalist Ibrahim Essa, a traditional outspoken critic of Morsi, on Tuesday accused the military-backed government of being "reluctant" to issue the law.

He called on the interim government to "quickly" pass the bill to put an end to violence that mars pro-Morsi demonstrations.

Nader Bakar, a senior member of the Salafist Al-Nour Party, described protests staged by Brotherhood supporters as "aimless", calling for setting a legal timeframe "to organize demonstrations and rallies".

Mohamed Hegazi, the chairman of the Islamic Party, the political arm of the Jihad movement, underlined the need for dialogue to resolve Egypt's political crisis.

"Protests and escalation will only lead to more blood," he warned.

Exclusion

But analysts see the proposed bill as a further step toward "excluding" the Muslim Brotherhood.

"There is a tendency for exclusion in Egypt, especially in light of failure to reach a solution accepted by all political parties and insistence of Morsi supporters to take to the streets," Mukhtar Ghobashi, a the deputy head of the Arab Center for Political and Strategic Studies, told Anadolu Agency.

Pro-Morsi demonstrations often turn into clashes with opponents of the Islamist president.

On Sunday, at least 54 people were killed after clashes between pro-Morsi demonstrators and security forces.

Ghobashi, however, predicts that attempts to "exclude" the Brotherhood will be "fruitless".

"Under Morsi, the Brotherhood had tried to exclude other groups by picking up loyalists for top posts, which led to the June 30 incidents (the mass protests that led to Morsi's ouster)," he said.

"This means that the policy of exclusion will lead to nowhere," he added.

The military-backed authorities have said that any party that approved the roadmap for Egypt's transition will not be excluded.

But Brotherhood supporters see a recent government move to revoke the NGO status of the Muslim Brotherhood Society as a new step to "exclude" the group.

On Wednesday, the Social Solidarity Ministry formally dissolved the Muslim Brotherhood Society, which was officially registered as an NGO under Morsi.

"The real problem now is that a wide section of the society opposes the Muslim Brotherhood," said Ahmed Bahaa Eddin Shaaban, the coordinator of the National Movement for Change, a political movement that lobbied for change under former presidents Morsi and Hosni Mubarak.

"This will make it difficult for the current government to step toward reconciliation," he added.

Last Mod: 09 Ekim 2013, 22:31
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