MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD REACHES SOME AGREEMENTS WITH ARMY
- The Muslim Brotherhood has reached some agreements with the army on the powers of Egypt's first Islamist president and the fate of a now-dissolved Islamist-led parliament, Brotherhood officials said on Tuesday, June 26, according to Reuters.
The newly elected president, Mohamed Mursi, toured his palace on Monday. But after savoring the outcome of a vote that installed him in place of the Brotherhood's enemy Hosni Mubarak, he immediately went to see the generals in the Defense Ministry in a scene that seemed to underline who really calls the shots.
The new president will be sworn in on Saturday, probably before the Constitutional Court, and the Brotherhood will also stage a symbolic swearing-in ceremony in Tahrir Square, according to Yasser Ali, an aide to Mursi.
"We are working on reaching a compromise on various items so all parties are able to work together in the future," said Essam Haddad, a senior member of the Brotherhood and also an aide to Mursi.
Haddad, who accompanied Mursi on his tour of the presidential palace, said the negotiations had covered possible amendments to the army's constitutional decree limiting the president's powers.
"We do not accept having a president without powers. The solution being worked out now is scaling back those restrictions so that President Mursi can deliver to the people what he promised," Haddad said.
Military officials were not immediately available to comment.
Haddad said the military would keep control of its budget and internal affairs, but the generals would have to keep their hands off an assembly charged with writing a new constitution.
In its latest power grab, the army gave itself the right to veto articles of the constitution that the assembly will draft, angering the Brotherhood, which itself wants a big say.
"The negotiations involve loosening the grip of the generals on the constitutional assembly so that it can draft the new constitution without interference," Haddad said.
A senior Brotherhood aide, who asked not to be named, said the generals had agreed to lift their veto power over the composition of the 100-member assembly, provided that about 10 of its Islamist members were replaced with technocrats favored by the military.
The aide said Mursi's team and the military council, which has ruled Egypt since Mubarak's removal, had also agreed on how ministries should be divided in the next cabinet.
"The ministries of finance and foreign affairs would go to the Brotherhood provided they steer clear of the defense, interior and justice ministries," the aide said.
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