Al-Jazeera has reported on the election by the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood of a new governing body, said to be dominated by religious conservatives. According to the report:
The Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s main opposition group, has elected a new governing body. Most of the 16 members of the new Guidance Bureau, announced on Monday, are said to be conservatives. The vote was carried out amid deep division between the group’s conservatives and reformists who call for more flexibility in the group’s stances towards internal and foreign issues, such as holding a dialogue with the US. The wing now dominating the movement is more focused on religious aspects and is not in touch with the political reality on the ground, Amr Shoubaky, an analyst with the Al-Ahram Centre for Political and Strategic Studies, told the AFP news agency. He said divisions within the party are likely to “lessen the brotherhood’s political weight and weaken its participation in the 2010 parliamentary elections”. Mohamedd Mahdi Akef, the group’s chairman whose term ends on January 13, said: “The Muslim Brotherhood group members have suffered during the past few weeks from several incidents, contradictory statements and the general atmosphere that had prevailed.” The new governing body excludes several key members considered to be moderates. Mohammed Habib, the group’s deputy leader, and Abdel Moneim Abul Futuh, a reformist, were not elected.Habib told the Al-Shorouk newspaper on Sunday that the group was split between those who wanted the Brotherhood to become more active in the country’s political life, and those who wanted to maintain the status quo. Diaa Rashwan, a political analyst, said sidelining Habib and Abul Futuh “is a serious coup for the reformist group within the movement which seeks more openness and participation with other opposition groups.” “The results of these elections signal the immediate regression of political activity of the group in the coming period.” The new governing body is likely to focus on social and religious grassroots work and avoid open confrontation with the state, Rashwan said.
The Al-Jazeera report identifies the new members of the Guidance Bureau, said to be large 50 years old or older:
The members of the new Guidance Bureau, according to the Brotherhood’s Ikhan website, are Ossama Nasr el-Deen, Gomaa Ameen Abdul Aziz, Rashad Albayoumy, Saad Esmat Elhosseiny, Abdul Rahman Albar, Essam Eleryan, Mohamed Badee, Mohamed Saad Alkatatny, Mohamed Abdul Rahman Almorsy, Mahmoud Morsy, Mahmoud Abu Zeid, Mahmoud Hussein, Mahmoud Ezzat, Mahmoud Ghozlan, Mohyee Hamed, Mustafa Alghoneimy.
Previous posts have discussed the decision by Egyptian Brotherhood Supreme Guide Mohammed Mahdi Akef to step down when his term ends in January.