Global media is reporting that Mohammed Mahdi Akef, the current Supreme Guide of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, has announced that he will not seek a second term and will step down within a few months. According to an AFP report:
The head of Egypt’s most powerful opposition group, the Muslim Brotherhood, said on Thursday that he will step down in January after five years in post. Mahdi Akef, 81, has led the Brotherhood, which is officially banned but often tolerated, since 2004.”I do not intend to renew my nomination for the post of supreme guide of the Muslim Brotherhood after my term ends in January,” he told AFP. Akef, who spent more then 20 years in jail under two Egyptian presidents, oversaw the Brotherhood’s campaign for 2005 parliamentary elections, in which it won a fifth of the seats fielding its candidates as independents. A gruff and sometimes irascible man, Akef has caused dissent among some of the Brotherhood’s younger members, who say he represents an outdated old guard…..A Brotherhood official told AFP that a new leader will be elected by the party’s guidance committee of some 100 members.
An Egyptian newspaper cites Kemal Helbawy (aka Helbawi), a Muslim Brotherhood leader residing in London, as stating that there are a number of candidates to replace Akef from inside and outside Egypt and and that for the first time there is a possibility that one of the leaders outside the office of the General Guide could be selected.
Akef, who was resident in Germany during the 1980’s, is famous for his incendiary rhetoric and numerous previous posts have discussed Akef’s anti-American, anti-Semitic, and other remarks. His resignation comes at a time of change for the Egyptian Brotherhood. As a previous post reported, discussions are currently underway about a replacement for Dr. Hasan al-Huwaidi, the recently deceased head of the Brotherhood’s “International Organisation”