CAIRO: An Islamist coalition led by the Muslim Brotherhood on Saturday (Sunday in Manila) offered negotiations to end the deadly tumult since Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi’s overthrow, without explicitly insisting on his reinstatement.
The coalition “calls on all revolutionary forces and political parties and patriotic figures to enter a deep dialogue on exiting the current crisis,” it said in a statement.
The proposal comes after more than 1,000 people, mostly Morsi supporters, were killed in clashes with police and thousands more arrested following his overthrow by the military on July 3.
The coalition, which has organized weekly protests despite the crackdown, insisted in its statement on keeping up “peaceful opposition,” but said it wanted a “consensus for the public good of the country.”
Much of the Brotherhood’s leadership has been put on trial, including Morsi himself.
“We have no conditions, and neither should they,” said Imam Youssef, a leader of the Islamist coalition member the Asala party.
But he said the talks must lead to a “democratic” solution, and the coalition wanted them to start within two weeks.
The Islamists were prepared to respect the demands of the millions of protesters who called for Morsi’s ouster, Youssef said.
“We want a democratic solution, and it does not necessarily mean we have to be in power,” he added.
Asked if the coalition would insist on Morsi’s return to office, he replied: “We don’t want to get ahead of ourselves.”
A senior member of the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party said the statement did not mean the Islamists dropped their demand on Morsi’s reinstatement, but were open to discussing how he could constitutionally resign.
“The range is there and there are disagreeing visions,” he said, adding some insist Morsi must complete his term, while others would accept he resign immediately and give his powers to a prime minister.
“As for the details, if they are in accordance with legitimacy and the constitution, the [solution]would be okay,” said the official, who requested anonymity.