Almost immediately after being announced president, Mohamed Morsi – former head of the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) – formally resigned from the Muslim-Brotherhood’s (MB) political wing. This served as a promise kept, given that President-elect Morsi had vowed before the results of the elections to resign from the FJP if he became president.
Nevertheless, even after his public separation from the party, prominent members of the FJP have continued to issue statements regarding the operations of his office and his duties. Much of the meddling circulates around the procedures involved in Morsi’s swearing of the oath of office to the people’s assembly, a sensitive issue for the Muslim Brotherhood since the FJP dominated assembly was dissolved by a Supreme Constitutional Court ruling almost two weeks ago.
The problem here, though, is not with the content of the statements issued, it lies with members of the FJP – and the MB – releasing statements on behalf of the president-elect. “It is merely a technical advice; not a political one.” , Muslim Brotherhood lawyer, Abdel Moneim Abdel Maqsood, told Daily News Egypt after making a statement to a reporter on Monday that included declaring that President-elect Morsi would indeed take the republican oath in front of parliament. “The President is currently receiving legal opinions from different political currents and directions, and not the Muslim Brotherhood exclusively.” Abdel Maqsood added, assuring that the final decision is only up to President-elect Morsi to make.
Abdel Maqsood is not the only one giving the president-elect advice. Constitutional expert and ex-parliamentary representative for the FJP, Sobhi Saleh, told a MENA reporter Monday that President-elect Morsi would swear the oath in front of the Supreme Constitutional Council but maintained that this by no means meant that the President was acknowledging the dissolution of parliament. Later the same day prominent member of the FJP, Saad Al Hosseini, told state-owned Al-Ahram that President-elect Morsi won’t waive taking the republican oath in front of parliament.
Much of the confusion stems from the fact that the procedures involved in inaugurating a new president in Egypt are almost unprecedented. Former judge, Ahmad Mekki, told the Daily News Egypt that there are no standing legal or constitutional directives to guide the president’s travel or meeting arrangements before his inauguration.
The office of the presidency released a statement Monday night emphasising that it is the only source of any official statements released on behalf of the president, adding that any statements issued by any other party are and can be assumed to be unofficial.
Ironically, the FJP released a similar statement, stating that nobody is entitled to speak on behalf of the president other than himself. The statement in itself could be interpreted as an unofficial statement regarding the president’s affairs.