‘Mubarak must leave’

2011-02-09 14:27

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood said today it remained open to dialogue with the Egyptian regime, but repeated demands for President Hosni Mubarak to leave office immediately.

“The president must leave his position. A new era should start,” senior Brotherhood member and spokesperson Mohammed Mursi told a press conference.

Speaking as protests against Mubarak entered their 16th day, he said the organisation, Egypt’s biggest opposition group, remained open to dialogue with the government.

The group has participated in talks with the regime, initiated by Egyptian Vice-President Omar Suleiman, but said the dialogue was not proceeding as they had hoped.

“The regime failed but it looks like some people think this dialogue is a monologue,” Mursi said.

Talks between the Brotherhood, several smaller opposition groups and the regime focused so far on setting up a committee to look into changes to the most controversial articles of Egypt’s constitution.

But the Brotherhood, and demonstrators across Egypt, many of whom said they had not been represented in the talks with the regime, said that is not enough.

They wanted a concrete pledge that Mubarak would step down immediately, not in September when new presidential elections would be held.

The Brotherhood participated in demonstrations across Egypt in the past fortnight, but did not organise them or the movement that carried them forward.

They were careful to keep a low profile, and emphasised that they were simply participants in a popular movement, not leaders of the revolt.

“We are with the people’s will,” said Mursi.

“We are with the majority of the Egyptian people... We are not the majority.”

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