Gulf media is reporting that Mohammed Mahdi Akef, the leader of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, might stay beyond the end of his term despite prior statements to the contrary According to a report in a UAE newspaper:
Mohammed Mahdi Akef, the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, has said he could stay on in his position after his six-year term expires in January, as his banned political party goes through a period of turbulence. Mr Akef had announced in April that he would not extend his leadership past January, despite pleas from senior figures in the group. But in an interview with The National, Mr Akef said he would consider an extension if that were in the group’s best interests, though stepping down is still his preference. “The unity and the interest of the Muslim Brotherhood is above my decision and everything else. I’ll exert all efforts to make sure that the group is at its best before I leave in January, and will look into my decision and see if it would be better to extend my stay for a few more months, as my brothers here are asking me to,” Mr Akef said. He was sitting at his desk in the Brotherhood’s headquarters, which overlook the Nile River in the suburb of Manial el Rouda. Mr Akef, 81, is the seventh leader of the group, which was established in 1928. Despite being officially banned since 1954, it remains Egypt’s strongest and largest opposition group. Were Mr Akef to step down at the end of his term, he would become the first Brotherhood leader to do so; all of his predecessors died while holding the leadership. Mr Akef said his decision is a message to the Brotherhood and to the regime: “Leaders shouldn’t stay in power forever.”
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.