Supreme Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood Mohamed Badie has called on opposition groups to condemn violence between his group and the opposition after the Brotherhood led protests to an area occupied by anti-President Mohamed Morsy protesters.
Badie addressed reporters on Saturday morning at the group’s headquarters in Moqattam. He discussed clashes that took place at the presidential palace on Wednesday and the current political impasse between opposition groups and Morsy.
The Brotherhood leader listed eight members of his organisation who died during the clashes. Two came from Cairo while the others came from cities in north Egypt. Badie read the names in front of a banner featuring graphic photos of five of the members taken after their deaths under a sign reading “the martyrs of legitimacy.”
He called for speedy prosecutions and trials for those responsible for the deaths and cast aside claims from opposition groups that the Brotherhood had instigated the violence, insisting that the Muslim Brotherhood does not resort to violence. “I say to anyone who tries to change the truth to protect Egypt […] I hope all political leaders disavow the killing of protesters,” said Badie.
The supreme guide requested that Prosecutor General Tala’at Abdullah re-arrest those who had been arrested and released following the fighting in Heliopolis to reexamine their roles in the deaths.
Badie reiterated his condemnation of the Ministry of Interior for not sufficiently protecting offices of the Muslim Brotherhood and Freedom and Justice Party throughout the country, saying that 28 of their offices had been attacked.
The leader of the Muslim Brotherhood called on groups critical of the president to participate in dialogue and democratic means to move forward. “The current scene is a political competition,” he said. “Let us compete with honour.”
He insisted that political change would take place through the ballot box and insisted the Muslim Brotherhood and FJP had a history of seeking dialogue before and after the revolution. Badie said the group had helped other political forces early on during the democratic transition.
Badie said the Muslim Brotherhood was the only political group ready for the democratic transition, alleging that opposition groups had wanted the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) to remain in power longer.
Badie also addressed the possibility of a compromise on the president’s part, saying if there was a decision to delay the constitutional referendum, it would be studied by the group before deciding whether it would officially support the compromise.
The supreme guide laughed when a reporter brought up the claim that he rules the country. He answered saying, “the supreme guide’s office was vandalised. Does he rule Egypt?”