CAPE TOWN - Hürriyet Daily News
Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi (C) waves to worshippers as he arrives for Friday prayers at a mosque in Cairo. AP photo
Even ousted dictator Hosni Mubarak did not have the power that new Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi has at the moment, a leading Egyptian social democrat figure has said.
“Morsi has every single thing in his hands. All the powers of the country, except judicial power, are in his hand. He has executive power and legislative power. That is really worrying. Mubarak himself didn’t have this,” Hussein Gohar, head of the foreign affairs committee of the Egyptian Social Democratic Party (EGYSDP), told the Hürriyet Daily News
in an exclusive interview.
The EGYSDP has been accepted into the world’s social democrat umbrella organization Socialist International (SI), and Gohar represented his party at the SI congress in the South African capital Cape Town last week.
Speaking to the Daily News, Gohar said his party favored Morsi’s move against the military, yet they were worried about freedom of speech, minority rights, and women’s rights in Egypt. “Morsi’s move against the army was good, we have to admit. We wanted them out too. But we are against the Islamization of the institutions and the key positions of the country. This is our main concern.”
Recalling that the Morsi administration had reshuffled the editor-in-chiefs of state-run newspapers, Gohar said Morsi was attempting to reverse “declining street support for Muslim Brotherhood” with this move. “The heads of state newspapers and state media are all aligned to the Muslim Brotherhood now. So by controlling the media … They know very well that their street support has been declining, and I believe that if the next elections are fair elections, we will see different results to what we saw in the first parliamentary elections,” Gohar said.
In further comments, Gohar claimed the U.S. had promoted the Muslim Brotherhood after Mubarak stepped aside. However, he said Morsi was currently taking steps to move Egypt away from the West.
“The Americans played a very significant role in promoting the Muslim Brotherhood to the position they are in now. Egypt was visited by one American
official after the other during the presidential elections. They have always been in contact with the Freedom and Justice Party and it was obvious that they were pushing,” Gohar said.
“I’m not entirely sure what they are thinking now. Morsi has been to China
and he was in Iran. I don’t think the Americans and Turks are happy with that. So, from the international policy point of view, Morsi is taking certain steps to move away from the West and the Americans,” he added.